The sirens of past lives take some silencing.
Going to relate to you a true story.
In 1968 I emigrated to Australia; to the city of Sydney. It was an easy move in many ways. For before I left I was working in the sales office of British Visqueen Ltd in Stevenage in Hertfordshire. ‘BVL’ were part of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
On Day Three of my new life in Sydney I noticed that ICIANZ (Australia & New Zealand) had their headquarters building on Macquarie Street near North Circular Quay. On impulse I went in and two hours later had been offered a job in the sales office of ICI’s Inorganic Chemicals Division.
From the window of my office I had a stupendous view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is a picture taken the other side of the Bridge looking back at the office complex to the right of the Sydney Opera House; the office block partially obscured by the top curve of the bridge.
Anyway, back to the story.
I was dating a Finnish woman who with her sister and parents had emigrated from Finland some years previously. That woman’s name was Britta and later we were married and then upon returning to England in 1970 we had two children; a son and a daughter. In Australia I didn’t miss England and when back in England I didn’t miss Australia.
I was 26 when we returned to England.
Fast forward forty-four years to now.
This is the view through our bedroom window in the morning when Jean and I awake.
This is another view of the same scene but taken from outside the windows.
When the air is really moist and there are clouds hanging low over the ridge, it’s common to see mist swirling through the trees.
It is a beautiful place to live, for us and for all our animals …. yet …. we don’t feel perfectly settled.
Back to Britta’s parents. After they had been living in Australia for quite a few years, in Brisbane in those days, and all settled with jobs and their own house, they still didn’t feel perfectly settled. So they gave up their jobs, sold the house and transported themselves and their belongings all the way back to Helsinki, Finland.
Only to find that in less than three months that they had made a ghastly mistake and so, yes you know what’s coming, they transported themselves and all their belongings all the way back to Australia; this time settling in Sydney.
OK, to the point of this tale.
In many, many ways this life that Jean and I have here in Oregon is better than anything we have previously experienced.
Yet, there are times when I hear the sirens of Devon calling out to me and for Jean there are times when she hears the sirens of Mexico calling out to her; Jean lived in San Carlos, Mexico for twenty-five years, off and on, with her late American husband, Ben, who died in 2005.
I’m 70 in November this year.
What does it all mean?
When Jean and I were living in Payson, Arizona we were talking one day to a woman who in previous times had been a personal counsellor. She asked how we were settling in. We mentioned that we were not yet settled. The woman went on to say that people over the age of 60 frequently had a much more difficult time adjusting to major moves and changes in their lives than younger persons.
Jean and I wouldn’t rewind our lives for all the tea in China but what, dear reader, do you think?
Anyone out there the ‘wrong’ side of 60 who can relate to this?