When I was a kid, it felt like I owned this town.
From sun up to sun down, aided by my bicycle, with a helmet my mother insisted I wear, but spent most of it’s time hanging over the handle bars, I’d ride and think and daydream.
I knew every tree, every beach, every bank, every wharf. Walking around here now, sometimes it feel like I still do.
My mind is so comforted here, against the backdrop of scenery I’ve known so well, rivers and beaches and tress that formed apart of me. I wonder if somehow it’s simply easier for my brain this way- it doesn’t have to think so much, process so much.
I quite literally know this town like the back of my hand.
The colour here- I have never seen another place like it. The blue of the water, every few seconds as you drive along. The black and brown and deep green of the scrub, with sandhills peeking through. And I can feel it, sand in my shoes, low lying branches catching my legs. The smell of sand and soil and eucalyptus and sunshine.
I remember when I moved away from here, aged thirteen by a month or so- I cried. I missed this place with every heartbeat. The smell, the cold of the place we relocated to…. beautiful in it’s own way, but nothing like my seaside home.
I remember driving with my mum one day, and we came over the rose of a large hill… my whole life until that point, the view over the rise of a hill like that was always the ocean. And that was what I expected to see.
The reality of land, and more land, no water for a good hour or so… it nearly broke my heart.
And now… well, the move here was supposed to be temporary. Three months, six at months.
But I’m seriously starting to wonder.
The thought of moving back to the city, back to the suburbs, comes with a massive knot of anxiety that sits between my diaphragm and my stomach and makes breathing uncomfortable. And I’m starting to wonder what on earth I would want to move back there for, when I can stay here, in Paradise…?
And the more I think about, the more logical it seems. I think part of me- the part that causes with that knot of anxiety, of fear and loneliness and trepidation- is still thinking that somehow,I can slide back into a pale imitation of what my suburban life used to be.
The rest of me knows that just isn’t true. So.. what do I do? Move back to the ‘burbs, which makes me anxious to even consider? Relocate, and start to build a new normal, all over again in six months time?
Or grow roots here, in Paradise, where we walk on the beach every day, and life is simple and slow and relaxed…?
Doesn’t the answer seem obvious…?