When you find yourself in sunshine this bright, it makes the past and the present feel like a dream. Was I ever in Chicago? Was it a regular -12C only a day or two ago? Now my legs are being whipped by a refreshing southerly. I dive into the cool blue waters of the Tasman Sea to emerge refresh, reenergised.
San Francisco is still a place that makes my heart do backflips. But there’s much more to San Francisco than a bunch of buildings on a peninsular surrounded by water. There’s a vibe, a magnetic field. I feel real there. I feel like me.
I switched on the TV and the lounge room flooded with the familiar voices of Kruk and Kuip. On the other side of the world, I was plugged in to the SF Giants – my World Series-winning baseball team. And all without searching for it.
Since returning to Australia, I have not ventured too far from my family’s home in southern Sydney. Staying put usually makes me antsy, but I’ve enjoyed adjusting to the the slower pace of life in the suburbs. Overall, the feeling is one of familiarity, like my favourite PJs.
So, it’s Christmas Day here in Chiang Mai and it was a pretty low-key day. I wasn’t able to fall asleep until the sun rose. The UN Bakery was fresh out of baguettes and French loaves, but had plenty of mince pies. I returned with the last four bread rolls and chocolate croissants to enjoy with our powdered coffee for the celebratory breakfast at 2pm.
In the book ‘Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris (and the movie of the same name), I saw in it something I recognised in my own life. The main character is called to pack her belongings and move on by the wind that blows through her French town . And for a while now, those winds have been again calling my name. Every 18 months or so, I feel the need to return home. This time it was almost to the day. It sneaks up on you quietly, then, if ignored, with greater rumbling and urgency. The universe is telling me to move on, but I need it to give me some time. Some of my avoidance strategies includes reorganising my workspace and apartment, and I did both yesterday. But still, I know what I have to do: I have to go home. It’s as though I am pulled by some invisible gravitational force back Down Under. I need to return home to be recharged and reenergised by the colours, the sights, the sounds, the smells. The …