This is the first Winter I've ever missed, the first time I've ever been overseas for more than a month. I've never understood people who flow in perpetual Summer, going from one side of the world to the next to avoid the cold; I'm just not built that way. I need the dark nights and raw wind, the silence and stillness.
I'm missing the black cockatoos floating in the clouds above my house calling out in their shrill phoenix song, bringing the rain and the mist that envelops everything in dampness. I miss the magpies singing to the rising sun. I miss the smell of wood fires at dusk, and the freezing air that makes me feel so alive. I miss the feeling of standing on the edge of cliffs and just breathing the mountains in. My soul is hungry for those moments, alone, the most me I am, vulnerable and seen only by nature.
But there is something here in the land that calls me too. I feel it in the jagged rocks that stretch up to snowy peaks far above the ground. I feel it in the wildflowers growing free and the sea of pine trees stretching out as far as I can see. I feel it driving along freeways in hot summer nights, sweat dripping from every part of me. Something in the woods here says welcome home. Something about the family I've met along the way that beckons me. Something in the desert that I'm so close to meeting. The bears, the hawks, the deer, the elk; they all speak to me in a language so foreign to home but so familiar it hurts.
The push and pull of belonging to the air. A love affair with nature, nesting and flight.