Almost 12 years ago I returned home to the Netherlands. Not that NZ wasn't a home for me all the years I was privileged to live there, but it did feel different. That difference was quite plain once I resettled myself and joined the daily humdrum and routines of daily life. Two sorts of relationships with two different countries. Yet the same. A strange experience I can tell you. Still baffles me when I think about it.
Last Saturday was one of those moments that emotion was hugely present whilst I attended a book presentation in Leeuwarden, my dad's place of birth and where I spent my adolencent years and young adulthood.
With locals, on holiday from NZ frisians and others we sang the NZ anthem in both Maori and dutch. Tears welled up, goodebumps on my arms my emotions bubbled up to the surface. I felt a strong bond with these people it felt like family.
Last night I watched the soccer match between the Netherlands and Germany. The national anthem was played for both teams. I sang the National anthem whilst sitting on the couch.... Goosebumps again. A strong feeling of belonging like which I experienced the Saturday before.
You could say that I am privileged to have two homelands. And in some ways it is. It is also a heavy burden. My children have a different home than I do. They are welcome here...but NZ is their home. Reece has in some ways, my experience. His home is NZ but also due to the nature of his realtionship, birthplace of Ros, Kirk and Max is Australia his home now... And here will also be home for him should he ever want and be able to visit.
With the birth of Indi, second daughter of Steve and Kylie this distance, this fenomena of " home" is once again food for lots of thought. I know I have a strong sense of belonging here... But that brings with it a strong sense of yearning. Not of regret, but a feeling of whishfulness. Of separtedness, of sadness and the knowledge that " hopping accross that great ditch" not always realisable is...certainly not in the situation at present.
In my heart and in my thoughts I am close to my children and grandchildren. They are part of my day. Although the contact is regular... And I am " kept in the loop" so to speak, I cannot ever get too much requests for skype, for messages, for txts on my phone. They keep me connected and close. They are my life line. Without the contact I would certainly feel allienated. Cut off from what feeds me- the love I have for my children.
Sometimes when I start writing I have no idea what it will be about, sometimes I have a plan. Tonight I let my fingers do the walking- no plan!