Sitting on the banks of the Murray on Ulupna Island watching the glow of the sun on the long row of gum-trees opposite, I finally landed. I was home.
I am not going to claim some kind of deep connection with the Australian landscape. Beautiful as it is, it only forms part of the picture. There are also my friends who I had missed more than I’d thought was possible. And there’s the extended community of people spread out through the forest, a temporary community that only springs up around festivals. It is one that I’m not entirely sure I fit into
but through the numbers of familiar faces smiling greetings at me, the occasional conversation and the possibility of deeper connections, one of which I am nonetheless part of.
Melbourne by itself, in spite of my history in it and the memories and associations that have accumulated over the years, can never completely be home to me. The first few weeks of wandering around its streets and suburbs placed me again in my past but it left the future missing.
I didnt really rediscover what that was until last weekend. By itself, the festivals could not be enough either but my friends and the community continues after the tents are packed. The festival, as any festival does, functions only as a social reconnector, a strengthener of ties and most of all as a reminder that we are part of something bigger flawed though it may be.
And from that center, everything else that places and defines me, everything that enables me to value my life, to live and to hope, all.of that is able to flow.