Staring out of my office window soaking in the green hues of nature, the soft undulations of the Peel Valley framed by a hilly tree lined backdrop, I think about the year so far. For me personally 2017 has been an emotional rollercoaster, losing my dear dad in January after an insidious 7 week battle, to thanking my lucky stars how blessed I am to have such a magnificent family. My brother and I put our lives on hold and headed home to South Australia to be there for dad’s final journey. It was one of life’s moments that can never be matched. A time also to reflect, re-evaluate, sit reality back on its haunches and realize that precious thing called life should never be taken for granted.

It seems ironic too, that the 2017 Pantone Colour is “Greenery”. Reflections of a fresh start, a reason to breath, and rejuvenate. The zestyiness of a freshly picked lime, the colour of nature, symbolising our need for groundedness, unity and comfort in a somewhat complicated social and political global environment. We are simple creatures that yearn for stability, security and solidarity. Whether you like green or not, metaphorically speaking, it stands for everything important and a belief that holds close to the home of my heart.

Our life’s mission is to seek comfort, belonging, security and self preservation. Our home is the emotive hub, an extension of our soul. This is why for most of us home has been in many places. It’s a label used for a place where we park our hearts, a collective ground for possessions that have meaning and reflect you as a person. A book read on your first holiday since leaving home may now be pushed to the back of the cupboard, a faded family photo with curly edges is in the drawer and no longer on the fridge, only to be replaced by a more recent one. I now have my favourite dad photo proudly sitting on my bedside so I can say good morning and good night to him. Whether stored away or moved around these possessions are still with you holding reference to your life’s journey.

It is funny that when we first meet someone, we will often ask, “where are you from?”, as it will tell us a bit about that person. A question such as “where is home for you?” is harder to answer. My home is Tamworth, but I will always call South Australia home. From growing up on the farm, driving the truck for dad during hay carting and fanging around on 3 wheeler motorbikes with my brother, to their now seaside home in Robe. They hold equally important memories, that have steered, moulded and developed the person I am today. For example, my priority is to be able to entertain friends at home, this coming from the long string of successful parties my mum and dad hosted over the years. A reputation that many of you may know requires preparation and a large constitution! The feeling of excitement I get during the last legs of the 16 hour drive, when the kids say, “It’s time to crank up Queen, we are nearly there.” Having dinner around the dining table, the same table Mum, Dad, my brother and I used to have lengthy Sunday lunches back at the farm. It is this sentiment and nostalgia that keeps you alive.

Some people have had the privilege to live in the same place all their lives. Memories and possessions may not have been gathered from places lived, but have still evolved and layered over time, through life experiences, items handed down from generations and places visited. Either way homes may morph and mould as the dynamics change over time, but it’s the natural senses, the “Greenery” of your heart and soul that is the true meaning of home. This should never change as it is your life reference and what defines who you are.

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* This article was written for DOWNTOWN MAGAZINE

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