I went home.

The well manicured lawns are now overgrown. The trampoline rusted, broken and turned upside down in the long grass and weeds.
The fences that line paddocks are old and broken.
Abondoned chicken pens litter the outskirts of the house and the old bird cage roof where finches, quails and canaries were kept has completely collapsed. The kangaroo and wallaby pen no longer has fencing, the upkeep of the enclosure abondoned long ago.
There is paint flaying off the walls and the stone is cracked with cobwebs tracing along the corners of the ceiling.
I am home. But it is not what I remember.
My mum has let her hair go grey and my dog is 17 years old, wees herself and can’t see anymore.
My brother is 22 and has no direction in life. He painted my white walls black, took my old furniture, books, clothes and childhood memories out and replaced them with guitars, soundproofing and a piano for a music studio.
My dad is retired and depressingly bored, playing nothing but video games and going on the internet.
I am home. But it is not what I remember.
My fiance’s parents wanted to meet mine, wanted to see the farm and where I grew up.
The big Red Rock was faded out the front of the driveway, the paint bleached in the sun. Memories of its vibrant red flashed before my eyes, seeing it on the dusty bus ride home from school.
Some of the old gum trees that lined the track have withered up and died, their branches heavy on the ground and left, forgotten.
I am home. But it’s not what I remember.
Photos of me line the walls, small with a big smile, dark brown eyes and brown hair.
Innocent, shy, creative and full of wonder.
A wonder that lead me to leave at 18 to study creative arts. A wonder that made me travel and not want to come back. A wonder that has ruined relationships and my ability to “settle” in life.
The cracks in the wall are thick and my mum’s hair is so grey.
She’s made seven different salads to try and impress my fiance’s parents. Binary opposites. Four people meeting for the first time, from completely different worlds.
I feel strange. We leave after 3 hours and I feel a lump rise in my throat as we drove away. My dad picks me up in his arms, something he hasn’t done since I was 5 years old.
I don’t understand. It’s so hard to stay but so hard to leave.
We small talk in the car and I try to explain that my parents lead a simple life on the farm, but they don’t understand. They are from completely different worlds.
The lump rises in my throat as we get off the dirty roads and back to the bitumen.
I went home, but it was not the same.
Everything has changed or have I changed?
I want to go home, spend more time there, more time then 3 hours.
The long walks down the lake with the dogs and mim calling my brother and I in for dinner as we watched the sun set over the brown land in crimson orange and red.
Every star in the sky shining like a beckon at night, the dead silence of Yorke Peninsula.
I write this with the same lump in my throat, recalling a time when life was simpler, slower and filled with peaceful silence.
The lump rises in my throat and I look out to the brown paddocks dotted with white sheep lazily grazing.
My soul ripped in half, one full of longing for the past and the other filled with happiness for the future.
I went home. But it was not what I remember.
I went home and realised nothing is forever.

2 Replies to “I went home.”

  1. I can relate Haley, my old farm has overgrown, lost it’s vibrance and is falling apart. But the momeries live on and it’s nice to share stories of what we loved and how we loved! Thanks for sharing xx

    Liked by 1 person

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