My soul is greeting this country with willingness once again;
When I stepped off the plane the sky seemed too blue and the world too bright.
I was in pain because part of me did not come home and my senses were rebelling, but the gentleness of the eucalyptus smell awoke in me a comfort I'd forgotten.
I'd been away long enough to become a stranger to my beloved homeland.
Slowly my senses have been coaxed home.
The grass is a dull yellow and the heat haze fades out the colours.
I soaked this body in my country's water.
My country's sun draws out the sweat from my bones as I journey back to a strange homeland; to all her wildness and harshness.
I feel the dirt under my feet and the heat tickling my cheeks.
The valleys and ridges and rivers and gums patiently await my resistance to cease.
Their gentleness has quietened my flighty heart and I feel the weight of my bones settle back in my skin.
I sit on my ridge, and on her ancient spine I have the space to breath deeply and know.
I’m home. -S.S.
A reflection I wrote upon returning to a hot Australian February after spending 3 months in an Irish winter. I added the last three and a half lines recently as I realised that during this time of staying at home, I have come home even further.