There was nothing particularly spectacular about my years back in my country-town primary school, but as the years have ground away, the nostalgia has become a heavy burden, based on this romanticised notion I had somehow acquired in my teens of what my childhood was like. Comparing it to the suppressed, confined and incredibly lonely state I found myself in in my teens in a new 'home' where I even failed to recognise the people who were supposed to be my family.
I suppose it was my subconsciously clinging onto something....anything that seemed like foundations..that were supposed to be strong; as the new world of the big smoke whizzed and buzzed around me as I tried to become a teenager in the concrete confines of the city after growing up in the open spaces and freedom of the country. So intensely bewildered my years of 'innocent youth' slipped by and even now I don't have the fainest about where the time went, remembering only my constant, never-ending overwhelmed and home sick state as I pined away for my farm.
Then came the years of my searching, travelling; looking for a way to fill that deep void I felt, that I told myself wasn't there when I was a kid in the country. It probably was, but I was in a safe and familiar enough setting never to notice it. Over the years the void seemed to grow deeper, wider. The hopelessness of my plight to find that missing link became nothing more than a wild goose chase with unfriendly faces taking advantage of my vulnerability meeting me at every corner.
And through it all I kept telling myself how none of this would ever have happened had I stayed in the country. That place was my foundations; even if my home life was shit, my family was in shreds, I was being bullied at school- I had my farm, my foundations- the only thing that seemed to be holding me up. It was my heart. I believed that it was the root of everything good in me, I traced all my pride, my dignity, my intelligence, my talent, my looks, everything back to that farm- that it was somehow responsible for crafting and carving me into the person I was, the person I am, the person I will become.
I didn't need an explanation either, I didn't need to tell anyone or anyone to tell me, I just knew. I know when I round the hill and see the farm nuzzled into the valley as the big blue Grampians tower over it like a protective veal, as the sun hits the trees in the home paddock and the white shapes of sheep speckle the slopping pastures. I know it's mine, that it's me. And I can't shake it out of my mind and my heart because it has always been there.
And I love the fact that no matter where I go, what I do or what I become It was always be there, waiting for me to come home to it.