Almost daily since our arrival in Switzerland I’ve caught a glimpse of the mountain views visible from our village. They look different each time, an illusion from the shadows cast depending on the time of day. Sometimes distinct against a pink evening sky, at other times hidden by fog, at the moment covered in snow. Some days I’m not consciously aware of them, while on others I will point them out to my children, half mesmerized by the beauty of them. But changes are ahead for us, and there are no mountains where we are heading. A move to London is on the horizon.
I need to ponder over how I feel about returning to England. Is my longing to return just nostalgia? Will it seem like home after 14 years away? Am I still the same person or have I been away for too long, destined to forever be an outsider?
There are feelings of doubt. My children have never lived in England and while they know that it is my homeland, they don’t consider it to be theirs. Things get tricky when there are multiple perceptions of home within one family.
This time in Switzerland has been part of a process, with a beautiful backdrop, but where my heart has been somewhere else. I wasn’t ready to leave Australia, just another year, we said for many years, until one year we found ourselves on a plane, waving goodbye to Sydney as it disappeared from view.
But it is time to let go of the past, and without the benefit of hindsight there is only instinct and a naïve hope that we are travelling in the right direction. And so we look forward, with some trepidation, and excitement, to a new chapter.