bittersweet goodbyes

It feels almost overtly symbolic that tonight of all nights the sky has opened and rain falls heavily on our dry village. It’s the fourth night of torrential downpours in the past two weeks and it states with almost absolute certainty that the end of the dry season has come. For the fisherman it’s the end of a good season where fish came into the bay in schools of thousands for the surfers it’s the beginning of a new swell season at the reef where offshore winds bring perfect peeling waves.

The wind has changed though, in a more symbolic sense for me. Tonight as the hot tropical air spits humid drops along the chocolate beach a little foot digs itself deeper under my ribs, rocking backward and forward, in the lull I let my emotions get the better of me as I say goodbye. Tonight is my last night in Batukaras. It is the end of an era for me and my little family that this village created. Tomorrow morning my lovely husband and I will drive ten hours to the city where we will say our goodbyes, he will turn around and return to the village and I will board a plane heading home to Australia with our little one nestled safely inside my body and firmly planted inside each of our hearts.

It’s not like I will never return here, not at all. Depending on how visa’s go next year we may be back here sooner than we anticipate now. It’s not leaving that has me in a melancholic mood, it’s that I will never return the person I am today… For I will never return alone, and i will never return just a traveller, I will return amongst the long list of things I am and things I have been – I will return with the badge that I will wear with the most pride, the badge of being someone’s mother.

So as of tonight, despite the little being wriggling under my skin as I type… I farewell this life and I try to prepare myself for the culture shock that returning home is sure to bring, for I have been changed.

In the past two years I have learnt to accept:

–          When squatting over the toilet there is a likely hood that either a gecko will land on your head/shoulders or a frog will jump on your foot.

–          The bigger gecko’s eat birds, out of nests, nests that were built in your loungeroom – you will have to clean the blood from your wall and the bird shit from the floor. Deal with it.

–          When a snake gets stuck in the rat trap in the kitchen, it’s best to use a pencil or stick to uncoil the super strong tail that has a death grip on the leg of the table. Pulling it will only make the snake mad and the table scrape along the floor.

–          Sometimes there are fish at the bottom of the well that stands in the middle of my kitchen, sometimes there are not… where these fish disappear to is a mystery that will probably never be solved.

–          When the wet season begins there will be a plague – first of flying insects that swarm the house in thousands dropping dead on the floor of the loungeroom within hours of their arrival. Second will be a million grasshoppers that jump on you, your computer and anywhere else they please… But don’t worry, tomorrow the woman out the front will fry them and offer them up as a snack. Third will be the flying water beetles… they are of no use to anyone and never seem to want to leave… oh well.

–          Eating chicken and rice three times a day for 12 months gets boring… but surprisingly after about 18 months you stop caring so much, after 20 you have forgotten what it is like to eat anything else and chicken and rice becomes your first choice.

I have lived in a world with little consumerism, little money and little motivation to change either of those. I have hand washed a thousand dishes and scrubbed the floors on my hands and knees with nothing but a coarse brush. I have pulled water from the well and consumed a thousand ants for no other reason than they are already in my tea (so why fight them?).

I have lived in a world where it has been relatively easy to live the lifestyle design that I preach. Freedom. Though I have realised there are many faults in my initial theory – human nature being one of them. I have felt forever torn between this world and my own… and now as I prepare to return to the hustle and bustle of Australian life, I wonder if I will be able to retain what it is I have learnt. Will I still be that responsible hedonist? Will I still feel empathy and passion or will I be sucked in by the glitter and shine that I fought so hard to break away from?

This blog changes now too. For we are one in the same, barefootinked and I. Once a blog for travel, then a blog for lifestyle design… now a venture into a world that is perhaps more dangerous and wrought with emotional risk and demand than any path I have travelled before – parenthood.

Ready or not… here I come.



2 Responses to “bittersweet goodbyes”
  1. I love your writing Sash, it’s so simple, honest and moving. Your little person is already blessed to be coming into the world with you as their mumma – open-minded, adventurous and aware. Enjoy your next little journey 🙂

  2. Happy New Year 2012,,,, have fun 🙂

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