I arrived home on Friday to a house heavily pregnant with half-packed memories. After twenty fours hours of travelling I was alone, tired, a little smelly and carrying a head filled with warm days and foreign landmarks.
I stood in a scalding hot shower until my skin went colour-run pink. I looked down at my hairy legs, and cursed myself for losing my razor somewhere along the way.
I stared at everything I still needed to pack and made to-do lists of things to remember. I kicked the wall and sunk to the floor, tears of frustration steaming hot down my cheeks.
I took the dogs for long walks on land that no longer felt like ours. I suppose that’s because it’s not. My heart ached as my eyes searched for the familiar sight of our herd of Ngunis and I tried not to wonder about where they are now.
Friends called and offered to help but I declined. I needed to do this alone. I needed time to think and to mourn the life we are leaving, the memories we have made here between these four walls and the ones that could have been.
I thought about having a glass of wine on Saturday night and then decided not to.
I slept with a big knife next to my bed. I asked my husband if he thought that was weird, and he said, yes, a little.
I think I dreamed about old castles and bloody dinner parties.
I stood in my messy topsy-turvy kitchen and cooked nutrient-laden vegan meals that I had missed so much while I was away. I ate three ripe avocado pears in one day and drank too much home-brewed coffee.
Most of all, I missed my husband.
And I packed. My stuff and his. I sorted and folded, and separated. I made up new boxes. I gave away most of my wardrobe and found old love letters and fridge magnets and happy blurry photographs.
I hated my country for making me have to do this alone and I wished we were moving somewhere further away where VISA’s aren’t lost in the depths of administration departments for months and months.
And I packed some more until I was in a rhythm of pure presence – mind and body working as one. I packed until I though I could pack no more; I stood back and still there was so much more to do. I took another hot shower and slowly, along with the steam and suds, it began to sink in that no matter where we unpack our suitcases, no matter where we run away to, there will always be surprises and sneaky stones to trip us up. There will be wonderful people and there will be asshole people. There will be adventures and there will be long rainy days spent on the couch. There will be hard work and there will be funny-sunny-sandy-laughing-blue-skies. There will be heartbreak and there will be unspeakable moments of utter joy. There will be love-making and shameful acts of deceit. There will be drinking and there will be eating; there will be arguing and foot-stomping. There will be fat days and skinny jean days. There will be complaining and there will be gratitude – I hope more of the latter than of the former. It will all be as it’s meant to be in this ceaseless circle of living and loving, heartbeats and day dreams… and I will do it all with you, where ever that may happen to be.