Flying Back, I Barely Recognise My Hometown

When at 18 or 20, or in my case 24, you fly away on the adventure of a lifetime, you aren't thinking of your future self. When I first winged my way to Australia, I had no inkling where it would lead. Or all the losses it would lead to. For me. For my future husband. For our future children. For our families.

Swooping in over Sydney Harbour for the first time more than 20 years ago, I had an overwhelming sense of belonging. It is a feeling I have never since shaken. Australia has been very good to me. I love the sunshine and the hustle of Sydney. Career opportunities came my way. Work and travel happily mingled. I have found love and made great friends here.

Over the 20 years since I first landed in Australia, there have been many times that distance from 'home' and family have caused tiny fissures to form in my heart. It wasn't until I had children overseas and my mother fell terminally ill that those tiny cracks expanded into a ravine.

It is at times like this you realise no technology can bridge the gap of 13,000 miles. There are times when you just have to be there.

Through all the ups and downs and the many return visits to find my hometown has changed so much in my absence, if I could go back and somehow explain it all to my 24-year-old self, would I do anything different?

This is extracted from Anne's article which was the No 1 most-read piece in The Irish Times newspaper over the weekend of 26-27 August 2017. Read the full story here: I barely recognise my hometown

Originally from Clare, Anne Casey is a writer living in Australia. The following poem is extracted from her debut poetry collection 'where the lost things go' published by Salmon Poetry.

Related:

My mum would ask, ‘Would you ever think of coming home?' - The Irish Times’

Christmas kisses, a poem by Anne Casey - The Irish Times

Homing

A stranger now

In a strange land

This street my feet had pattered

Through all the years that mattered

In between the ghosts

Of fallen heroes

The smoke of burnt out fires

Monuments to the ruins

Of dreams and desires

Past facades masking

Tattered insides

All the laughing, skipping, dancing

Hauling, falling length of it

A street baptised in people’s lives

A little street

In a little town

At the wave-washed edge

Of the world

Views: 468

Tags: Arts, Australia, Immigration, Literature, Memoir, Poetry


Admin
Comment by Fran Reddy on August 31, 2017 at 3:36pm

Anne, congrat's on having the No 1 most-read piece in The Irish Times newspaper over the weekend!! Well done!

Comment by Patrick Francis Deady on August 31, 2017 at 11:56pm

Very moving, Anne.  Thank you.

PatNZ

Comment by Anne Casey on September 1, 2017 at 12:51am
Thank you so much Fran and Patrick! : ))
Comment by Priscilla Jane (PJ) Gibbons on September 25, 2017 at 5:38pm

Thank you, Anne.  So heartfelt.  

Comment by Anne Casey on September 25, 2017 at 6:09pm
Thank you so much Patricia Jane. : ))

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