Change and Shadows and Shifting Spaces

So there’s an interesting thing. You escape from your Outpost, you clamber enthusiastically out and you blink in the bright light and you almost have to cup your hands to your ears such is the clamour and cacophony after weeks of screaming silence and you think you’re going home. Home to this big slice of life which you’re going to gobble down after a hungry hiatus of too much space and time and piece and quiet.

But it doesn’t work like that.

Because, in the hiatus, whilst you’ve stood still, waiting, counting the days until you rejoin the land of the living, everybody else has moved on. You haven’t a clue who that person at the bar in your local – your local – is;  you don’t know the in-jokes anymore and you drop off the edge of conversations for you can only sustain the small talk for so long.   The community that you were once a part, an old and integral part, of has changed shape and there isn’t a gap you can wriggle comfortably back into.

And you wonder that Change has left you behind?  And briefly you are disorientated. Until a friend says , perhaps what was has stayed the same; perhaps – in the big window of opporutnity presented by more than four years –  it is you that has changed?

Which is a less discomfiting thought.

But whether it’s me or there that’s changed, the season is certainly slowly, waxily changing .

In the East, where I once lived, a blanket of grey will soon descend and damply cling for three months. Here in the West of the country the skies are high, high without the faintest puff of a cloud and the days are long and hot (so that when I go to pluck some lunchtime lettuce I find it wilting like so many Victorian ladies who have gone out without their parasols). I wake to saffron dawns and drink a cold beer in melting honey evenings which gild my quickly dessicating lawn and pop a crown of gold on the Flamboyants and the Frangipanis which is as well for they are balding with falling African autumnal leaves.

So it’s a good time of year.

And in whatever change has happened, wherever it has happened, whilst I haven’t been watching, I shall find my place.

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3 Responses to “Change and Shadows and Shifting Spaces”

  1. Lyn Says:

    It seems as though you have it figured out. You know that old saying “you can’t go back”; well you can, but the place that you remember doesn’t exist as you remembered. I had this experience myself when I went home to the small town where I was raised. And the epiphany – that it is you who has shifted. I think you love the shifts that have occurred judging by your loving description of your home on the outpost. thanks for sharing this poignant post from the other side of the world.

  2. Ms Caroline Says:

    As always, beautifully written and photographed. I have moved my whole life and only rarely go back for just the reason you describe . We leave for Seoul in 2 weeks – ostensibly to return in 2 years – and this will be one of the few times in my life that I have headed out with the intention of returning. I wonder who I’ll be when we return and if there’ll be a space for me anymore.
    Enjoy your Autumn. It sounds glorious.

  3. janelle Says:

    darling..that looks like meru!? were you in town?? and if yes WHY didn;t you call??? would love to see ya!? xxx j

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