Today has been a great Kadina day.
Kadina Days used to be any day in which I was in Kadina, but not living there, which was the case when I was living in Balak and Pirie. I always had a half-packed bag ready to go and treats to bribe the cat during the brief (but too long for her) journey. At the end of my time in Pirie, which was just before we were married, I kept saying 'I just want ONE WEEK in ONE PLACE' over and over again. There were far too many trips to Adelaide and to Kadina and to Whyalla in Term 4 and I was just beyond tired of driving.
Once I was here (in Kadina that is), everything changed. Stephen's house had really been my home-away-from-home since Australia Day 2011, so moving in was just like, well, not moving, except we had an entire spare room of boxes. Evenrually our house started looking like a home and more of a blend of Lisa-and-Stephen-ness rather than two houses that vomited over some carpet.
Another thing I have said often is 'THIS is NOT the plan!' I use capitals a lot (I am a bit of a yeller). It is true, but my plan was very flawed, and in reality I have exceeded some of my my own goals and dreams while being here. The plan probably didn't include getting married at 26 and living on the Upper YP and missing friends and family more than I care to admit. But, well, the plan never included my Adelaide life either. The plan was fatally flawed to begin with.
Despite some serious hurdles and road blocks and depression and generally restlessness, I have to say I'm sad to know I'm leaving Kadina at the end of the year. All in all, it has been one of the few constants in my teaching career and lifestyle. I like our friends and our house and our difficult-to-manage garden. I like time to do things. Today we spent all day in the backyard, weeding and pulling down a tree and having a camp fire. We have done these things for four years, ad next year our garden won't be ours, but will be left for another teacher to look after. Those daisies and the natives and bulbs, all those things I have planted and tended and care about. My heart, which breaks easily, breaks a little over this. In times when life has been beyond crappy, I've looked out the kitchen window so many times and rested my eyes on something lush and green and full of the love that is God's creation.
Doors are closing now too. There is no turning back. We can't stay.
For me, closure is usually swift. Boom, that's it. That's the way it always has been with my contracts and moving. Quite literally I was living in Pirie, having my final Friday night drinks and opening wedding presents at school and the next my entire contents of my house was being put onto a truck. This is not a bad thing, but I have rarely had time to be so melancholic and reflective on closure.
And the other thing is that I so desperately want to be home. I want to do my favourite things like eat in the Chinatown food court, walk the Henley/Grange track, drive into town just to pick someone up from an obscure location at random hours, shop at 'my Coles', drink wine in winter on a freezing Friday night, call my friends and have coffee (okay, have hot chocolate), and fall asleep after midnight, only to wake up at 7am and do it all over again. And for a long time I have been doing those things, throwing myself at the mercy of my family and friends who put up with my ungracious house guest ways, with the notable exclusions of beach walks, because, well, I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it until I come back home.
At this point we don't have what we really need to get home. We don't have jobs, we don't have a house, we have a lot of stuff. But closure is fast approaching.
My favourite musical, Sound of Music, includes the line 'When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window'. I'm going to keep hanging onto that, along with my inherited optimism.