Can you see what I see, the wind-swept grassy hills that remind me so much of home? Driving up the twisting roadway, with sheep and lambs grazing on the verge, the homesickness hits me hard. I sit in silence and watch them, ignoring the conversation inside the car, just gazing at their familiarness, the green of the grass and the drizzle slanting onto the window. Can you see the grey of the sky, or hear the howl of the wind as we stand on the hilltop to see the city spread out as hazily below us? There's an oval race track lighted up, the sea in the distance with islands barely visible through the haze. The wind is whipping my hair into my face, and I'm thankful for the winter coat that I brought. The stone walls up here are old and lichen-encrusted, transporting me in my mind to the other side of the world. I can smell the grass, feel it wet beneath my feet, and the chill of the wind on my face.
The sheep don't seem to care that it's raining, they graze unperturbed. Can you see the cropped greenness, the bare tree branches whipping in the wind, or the lambs bouncing down the slopes? It's dusk now, as we drive downwards, away, but I could have watched for ever. Stood, and watched, and smelt, and felt, and remembered, and longed for home. It's a strange empty feeling to leave it all behind and to know that it isn't really home after all.
Of course, I'm not often homesick. Last night I dreamt that I was back in Ireland, with everyone there around me. It was a happy dream, but when I woke, it didn't feel wrong to be here. It's more a subconscious feeling of longing, memories stirred up by random scenes.
I'm happy here, well, not in New Zealand necessarily, (did I mention that this is where I am?) but in Australia, and with life in general. I'm comfortable and don't plan to move anywhere any time soon, it's just that sometimes 'home' seems so far away. Sometimes I want to see the same views that you see, I see a picture of home and it makes me ache, and at the same time sometimes I long to be able to share what I see with you.
Brisbane is home now, it feels like home, when I get back from a work trip, or a holiday, it feel peaceful to be back in 'my' airport, and to get back to my house. However, I don't think anything will ever replace Ireland in my heart, and sometimes it's not easy that it's so far away.
Next week I will be in Singapore, and that's a strange thing as well, because I look at a map and think 'I'm so close to home.' While of course, I'm not actually close to home at all but it feels like I should be. It would be nice if I had a few days off at the end of a Singapore trip and I could just 'hop' home but it doesn't ever work like that.
Oh, we're getting staff travel now. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks it will all be finalised, and the world will perhaps become smaller. Perhaps you will come to visit me, and I can share some of my world, share my home, and you can see what I see.