The sets changed while the lights were down, and the lush, green tropical trees of Singapore were swiftly replaced with the naked, sky clawing trunks of a German winter. It is raining here, just like it was when we left Asia, but it isn’t warm and torrential, it’s ice-cold and driven by gusts of chilly wind. The colours around us have faded, the palette not as vivid as an Aussie summer, as green as the tropical wet season. But we’re still somewhere so familiar, despite being so starkly different to where we were – also somewhere so familiar. That is one of the oddest things about splitting one’s self between two or more places – the slide between them and the sense of each being where you belong.
We took die Lüdde down under, where she was showered with love each and every minute by her Aussie family. We had a hot Christmas by the beach and spent precious time with precious people. In Singapore we acquainted ourselves with my parents’ current home – my mother would interject here with her favourite German word, ‘it is my home at the moment, but not my Heimat.’ It was a trip built on so much excitement and love, coming home was harder than it was the last time. Saying goodbye was different; something about a baby brings the speed and relentlessness of time into sharp, sharp relief.