Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's a matter of miles...

I'm a little homesick at the moment. I'm not sure why I'm feeling this way - perhaps it was my birthday with all those calls from family and friends in the UK and their talk of springtime and sunshine. Perhaps it was the pasties we ate, or perhaps it is the ranch where we've spent the last 4 days. Lying on the grass earlier, the sun on my back, surrounded by buttercup-dotted hills, everything felt so familiar to me, and yet so unfamiliar. We saw deer up on the horizon and watched black angus cattle grazing. And we saw hawks circling overhead and hares with their long ears and huge hind legs hopping through the garden and we scrutinized a ladybird with no spots. In the evening we played cards and read our books and it was Hank Williams who sang to us from the music system, mourning beautiful gals and cheatin' hearts. At night there is no light pollution, just darkness and the sound of frogs.
All this is peppered with our own uncertainty about where we want to be, which country, which continent, and it has left me craving a simplicity I recognise, something from my own childhood perhaps, just some chickens and a washing line.
In parallel to all this I felt strangely distant from my own child this weekend. 'He's a toddler fighting for independence' you'll say, but it wasn't that. While we were poking around in a stream and watching it flow through a drainage tunnel into a bog of reeds and chickweed he asked me, 'Mummy, where is the warder going?' Not, water, but warder. 'Warder'. He sounded so authentically American. I should have been prepared for it but somehow I wasn't. I just never expected, naively I suppose, that my child would ever sound foreign to me. I reassure myself that the jigsaw of our lives is still being laid out on the table and I know that really it's just a matter of miles - 5560 to be precise, that separates the two worlds in my heart.

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