It hit me as I walked down the steps and across the tarmac.
That feeling of déjà vu.
I started remembering all the times I’d arrived at this same airport, in my eyes it hasn’t changed much over the past 40 or so years. I can’t even begin to add up the number of times I’ve flown in or out of this place.
One of my earliest memories of flying was with my younger sister and brother as unaccompanied minors. We were sent to stay with our grandparents for the school holidays which to us was like winning the lottery. In those days people dressed up to go flying, and we were no exception. I remember rocking a particularly bright yellow, mini dress outfit – I thought I was the bee’s knees – well it was yellow!
I remember other trips, the blue hair ribbons in our ponytails, the matching outfits my mother made for my sister and I, the heat, the sunshine, the beaches, the river, the picnics, the family stories, being recognised as belonging to our family due to our looks as we walked down the street. It was a small town where everyone knew your family and who belonged to who. We belonged to our family and we were happy with that.
The time spent with our grandparents was fun; waiting on the corner of the street for Pop to come home from work each day; helping Nan cook; taking morning tea on the verandah with lots of visitors dropping in; playing under the house; watching Pop work in his workshop with his gem stones; the pain of having our hair washed and towel dried by Nan; walking by ourselves to the pool; milkshakes in the local cafe…
This town is also my place of birth. I have been coming here, on and off, for well over 50 years and it holds many special memories. The pool, the river, the floods, the cane fields, the very special Mt Warning presiding over the town, as well as the family connections. Birthdays, celebrations, funerals, family holidays…
My parents moved back here in 2000 and so the visits continued. My grandparents passed away, my uncle, aunts and cousins moved away, my father moved to a care facility in another town and suffers from Parkinson’s Disease – now my mother is the last one of the family left living here. Even more reason to come and visit.
So many memories flash by when I look through the photos, the book shelves, the paintings, the collections and the house itself. I love nothing more than discovering old photos and hearing the stories that go with them. Laughing at outdated hairdos, outfits, facial expressions and poses. Sighing at all the lost relatives who have been a part of my life.
Reminiscing and finding my parents smiling up at me from before I was even born – such a wonderful gift!
It all started with a feeling of déjà vu and quickly moved onto nostalgia, for the past, for my family and even for my younger self to some extent. How free I was as a child, no expectations, no pressures, just fun times – looking back through rose tinted glasses do you think?
I’m up here again at the moment staying with mum, visiting dad and remembering days gone by, when things were very different. Walking off the plane the other day really started me thinking, it’s funny how random moments can have that effect on you isn’t it?
Thanks for joining me in my reflections. Life passes by so quickly these days, it’s important to not just count the days, but to make the days count.
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