Monday, November 28, 2011

It was time to leave

We’d decided to leave. Yes it’s true. After all those dinner parties, red wine fuelled expansions and hand wringing misgivings about living cheek by jowl in a suburban enclave we’ve actually decided to put our money where our mouth is.
‘But you’ll never be able to buy back here again’
‘What’s so special about over there?’
‘It’s such a great community here It’ll be hard to find it over there’
‘This is your home your family is here, why do you want to leave?’
‘I won’t be around much longer, please stay’
‘What have we done wrong to make you want to leave?’
‘Just when we get to know you, you up and leave!’
‘Life’s an adventure. We love you, cherish you and hope you find happiness’
That last statement has resonated with me ever since we decided to take the plunge and leave our cosy idyllic, inner city, pre-gentrified suburb of Melbourne for the great unknown of Southern Tasmania, circa 2003.
It was difficult to move after having made a comfortable life in Melbourne amongst our families and friends. Sadly some of our friends viewed or move as a rejection of sorts which was never the intention, however one can’t discount peoples’ feelings at the time and as they say, time eventually heals and life always goes on.
When we arrived in Cygnet, the Red Velvet Lounge loomed large as a hub for many people and we were duly welcomed to join the red round table in the window. We met many new people over coffee in those first few months, easing us into the rhythms of the little town we had chosen as our new home.
In fact it was over a bowl delicious soup and great coffee at the RVL that sealed it for us, as we rationalised that a little town this south of Hobart that has such a great café must be a sign. Sitting in that room, the ink drying on the contract for the cottage we now live in, I was not to know that a few years later I would eventually become its current custodian.
They say if you’re still here after three years, you’ll stay, now having passed that mythical three-year mark a few years ago I feel it’s safe to suggest we’re here for the long haul, this is our home. I’m a Tasmanian now. The word sounds like a soothing lozenge in my mouth, familiar, restorative and at the same time redolent with a meaning that I am gently awakening to.
My infrequent visits to the big Island have left me longing for the currency of space, the pure air and the crispness of my tank water that I enjoy at home. I’ve learnt not to say ‘never’ over my years but I can’t see us living anywhere else, funny how life works out innit?


GourmetGirlfriend said...

how lovely to have found such contentment.

Tassiegal said...

Moving from Hobart to Lithgow makes this resonate with me. I miss Hobart, its laid back "she'll be right" sensibility. The fact places like RVL are down the road yet a totally different feel.
Lithgow is frustrating. There is no civic pride, no easy familiarity (sure ppl know each other but its not the same as tassie, cant put my finger on why), no happiness in their own body.

Hazel said...

Yikes, Steve, don't do that to me- I thought your post was going to be about leaving here!

I've had people question why I won't leave Tasmania- when there are so many opportunities out there, but I've never wanted to, this place has got me good, and I don't think I'm going anywhere.

Alli @ High Country Gourmet said...

Love it. So many of your comments ring true for us and our move. My fave was when hubby was made redundant after 2.5 yrs (his job being the impetus for us to leave the city) that I was told "its your turn now. When are you moving back?". 6 yrs and 10acres later we are still here. Loving it

Susan Moore said...

This brought a little tear to my eye. I'll be asking 'the friends we left behind' in Sydney to please read it.

Anonymous said...

You've captured our sentiments perfectly Steve-lovey to read as always

Vineyard Paul said...

Hey Steve,

I don't think 8 years qualifies as now a "Tasmanian". I have heard anywhere from 10-20 years qualifies. Hey I married one and they still won't give me a Tasmanian Passport.

It would be nice to get Permanent Residence status after 5 years tho.

Jo said...

i just celebrated my 12 months last week, absolutely loving it here too. I miss my friends but the lifestyle here makes up for it.
I love the fresh air, the space, the beautiful food, and most of all i love watching my 3 year old running around the paddock playing with the sheep and chasing the chickens, this is the life.

steve said...

Hu Ruth-I'm a bit of a restless person, contentment is a slippery spirit to me!

Hi Tassiegal-interesting, I feel too Tas has a uniqueness that seperates it from anywhere else

Hi Hazel-us too. Someone once said to me that everyone who moves to Tas is escaping something-I tend to agree

Hi Alli-its dispiriting that some people have this 'I told you so' attitude' when confronted with someone elses choice to move elsewhere-It shows their lack of courage imo

Hi Susan-thanks for reading!

Hi Anon-Cheers!

Hi Paul-I've heard this before but I reckon being a local is best measured by ones sense of well being in a place rather than how many years one has lived there.
The analogy I'll use is like those born into wealth. It doesn't mean they'll appreciate what they have as much as those who've earned it the hard way.

Another Outspoken Female said...

Beautiful. As someone who left her home, repeatedly to find new homes elsewhere in the world I get it :)

Cindy said...

How wonderful to have found your place on the planet! As a city gal myself, I'll do my best to take the latter attitude when my own friends venture out beyond the inner 'burbs. I was lucky to be similarly supported when I moved interstate 5 years ago.

steve said...

Hi Aof and Cindy-Thanks for reading!