Every time I think of ‘going home’ to Albany, West Oz…. I’m filled with some weird fear and trepidation, yet tinged with a hint of excitement thats palpable. There is no doubt about it, returning home, to that place that was of major significance to my formation years, is… well, just a little strange. I have a entire mix of emotions and memories that I’m not altogether sure I want to re-experience.
Yet Albany lures me like a long finger curling its way to my heart…. ‘come home dear one… come home…’
OK, so, I can’t wait to do a ‘yorkie’ and walk on middelton beach, the beach where I grew up and used to sit shivering in the sand dunes watching my brother, Mick, surf.
I am longing to walk the entire length of this said beach to emu point and back! The sand squeaking beneath my feet, seaweed strewn across the sand, gulls squawking overhead and that wind… oh that wind.. it rips through you like there’s no tomorrow. It’s a timely reminder of WHERE YOU ARE located geographically…. go on, take a look at an atlas and familiarise yourself with where Albany actually is!
Let me fill you in on a secret…. you haven’t experience the COLD and CHILL of Australia til you have experienced those Albany winds….oh la la …
AND so, I’m in a melancholy mood as I think about what it may be like returning to my roots… after all these years … and it’s quite a strange feeling. It’s been 35 years since i left… but 7 since I last visited for my high school reunion.
One things for sure, I am looking to reconnect with many of my childhood and teenager friends…. as I am walking the trails that I once so adored… Frenchman’s bay… Denmark… Cosy Corner…. Two Peoples Bay…. Shelleys beach….There is such a wild raw feeling about the west that it’s hard to ignore. And it’s a place that simply must be experienced, preferably with a local who know’s all the spots, apart from the tourist ‘whaling station and Gap.’
I’m also yearning to sit at my brother’s Michael’s grave, to reassemble it with fresh seaweed, flowers and shells….. to possible ponder of what might have been, a life stopped too soon, to stroke his memory and chat to him about how strange it all feels, being home after so many years and wishing he was still there too.
I also want to walk the Porongorups, a mountain range where my mum used to take me and my sister Trudi, for a day ‘out’ whilst she sat and painted the tall gum tree’s and surrounds as we lost ourselves exploring and playing make believe.
I want to climb Bluff Knoll. Feel it’s energy. Probably climb to the top and be so in the clouds I can’t see anything anyway !
My girlfriend Julie wants to take me out on the Bibbulum Track and hike a couple (or a few) days…. I say ‘sure’ as I wonder how my right knee will hold up .. yet my adventurous self can’t wait to sleep under the stars and be completely in nature, snakes and all.
P.S. … Dear South West…. I think I still adore you.