I’m happy in Sydney. I love living here. With the exception of the humidity, I love the weather. I love feeling the sunshine on my skin in August amongst the chill of the air. I love seeing rain, and tilting my head back and opening my mouth, letting the drops hit my tongue like I used to do as a child.
I’m having one of those horrible days where I’m missing things. I’m missing my old stomping ground, missing the Peninsula and the bay, missing my family and my girlfriends. I’m reliving my handfasting in my mind as I can see all my family and two closest girlfriends all in one mental image. The one thing I’m making sure of in my mind is that I see myself as I am now, almost 10kg lighter than I was on that day.
I guess this happens when you find new familiarity. Now that I no longer need my Navigation App to get to a friend’s house, I find new familiarity with the streets, the trees, the parks and bridges. As I walk up the road to the train station, and my 2km walk into work in the mornings, Oxford St and Surry Hills becomes my new familiar. Part of me is still wanting to hold onto my old life, trying to find room for the past and the present, and making sure there is still ample room for the future.
Over the weekend, sitting with friends on the iron garden chairs in the sunshine, I was mentally transported to sitting on the swing on my mother’s back yard veranda, dangling my legs in the sunshine and playing hide-and-seek with the sun between the clouds. While crafting with my friends, the sound of heavy fabric scissors cutting through material transported me to years of helping my Nan make clothes and bags for myself and my toys.
I made a gorgeous bag this weekend to house my ritual drum. And with the aid of a friend’s sewing machine, it turned out better than I could have hoped. I love it – it houses my drum and the beater separately, leaving room for more beaters to come. There is also room to place things found when taking it out and about to play. I emailed photos of the bag to my mother and explained what I had done, how it was fully lined and sewn, painted with a silohette of Herne on the front. “You are indeed [Nanna’s] girl!!” was her reply.
As much as I look forward to the future in a city that I love, with wonderful new friends; with a body that is becoming smaller with every passing week; discovering this new version of me makes me scared and excited all at the same time. To add to this, I was given a Craft name this morning on the train. I asked Herne to give me one maybe a month ago, and he told me not to take myself so seriously. But this morning I went into a world on the train, and it came to me. I went to say my name, and my old name wanted to come out. No, I’m definitely not her anymore. Then it was spoken. This new name, with so many spelling variations, represents the woman I am today. It honours my past, represents my present, and will be with me into my future.
I am 1.7kg away from having lost 10kg since April. I can now fit into an old pair of jeans (real non-stretchy denim jeans) and am so much more active than I have been in years. I am embracing this changing me. This happier, healthier version of me that I have been waiting close on eight years to find. I’m scared of the future, but I am embracing the present.
I’m looking forward to the holiday break, though. Muggle and I will hopefully be going to Victoria to visit my family and friends. We will meet our new niece for the first time, hug Big Niecey for the first time in over a year, catch up with my girls, and hug my grandparents who I miss so, so much. I will be able to honour my past, which is what I think I really need to do. I cannot run from it, I cannot shun it or ignore it. I need to go back down there, and say hello.
Say hello, and thank it, for allowing the girl I used to be to have all the experiences I’ve had, to know all the people that I’ve known. Through this, through my past, I’ve been able to transform into the woman that I am today.
2 thoughts on “Honouring the Past, and Embracing the Present”
Love this, Cara. especially your thoughts on missing one place and incorporating the memories into where you are now. I can so identify. It’s one of the things I love about Sydney: it has days where the sky reminds me of winter in Johannesburg where I grew up, days where it reminds me of Summer with cumulus clouds in a beautiful blue sky and an afternoon thunderstorm; days when the lighting and clouds remind me so much of Cape Town and the year and a bit we spent there before moving here. There are still jacaranda trees, though they bloom a good month later here than they did in Jo’burg. I feel as if I have bits of it all dragged together to be relished.