Back in Germany.
We flew in over the alps with their caps of snow and clouds and then over southern Bavaria with its perfect, precise patchwork of paddocks, each a brilliant shade of green and bordered by full, round trees. Order and calm instantly seeped in, the lovely chaos and noise of the Mediterranean lost somewhere over the mountains.
Here there is no ocean, no wild winds that whip so furiously it feels like they want to take you to see the Wizard. The cars drive in a far more orderly fashion. The wine grapes grow on vines. The bakeries are full of laugenstangen and seed covered, brie-stuffed brötchen, not puff pastry snails stuffed with feta, or big wedges of moussaka pie. The church bells are back, loud, four times an hour, as intrusive as they are comforting. The conversations I hear coming up from the street and in through the window are had in the rolling, rhythmic, rat-a-tat-tat Oberpfälzisch dialect.
I like coming home after being away for a while. I like doing laundry, making everything clean and fragrant again, getting those red wine drops out of white cotton. I like buying new flowers and putting them in all the vases dotted about the place. I like filling the fridge again, boiling the kettle, making a cup of tea in my favourite mug. I like my bed, my books, my bedside lamp.
I like the reaffirmation that this space in this place is home.
I wonder if this reaffirmation means or, perhaps better put, is needed a little more when the space in the place you currently call home is temporary, or new or on uncertain footing. Returning to it, standing warm within its walls, cooking in it, watching TV on its couch you helped choose, watering the herbs on the window sill, it makes it all feel so much more stable and real. Solid. A home you made and one you return to, no matter how far from it you fly.
In three days, I’m leaving this home, packing my bags and flying back to Sydney. Back to warm walls that have welcomed me home time and time and time again. Home from school, home from uni, home from seeing the world. And now, home from another home. I will make a cup of tea in the corner of the kitchen that has seen so many conversations. My laundry will smell different, familiar, but different. The flowers will come from Mum’s garden, not the supermarket. I’ll drink my tea on the couch my dog used to try and sneak onto, when he thought no one was looking. Except my dog won’t be there because he died two weeks ago.
Everything and nothing the same. That’s what happens when homes move, things change and you go back to where you came from.
I haven’t started packing yet. I should go and get my big bag from the basement and see what I need to haul back to Australia and just how much will stay here, waiting to welcome me back. I will deal with all of that tomorrow. For now I just want to sit on this couch here, within these walls and smell the fresh flowers and clean laundry for a while.