By Gem


Spring is here and before the end of summer, we’ll be gone. It feels so strange to be living out our normal Nagahama rhythms, while at the same time, preparing ourselves to up sticks and leave in just a few months.

For someone like me, this is very hard. My talk about planning ahead and setting goals might seem to imply that I’m a very future focused person, but the truth is, I really don’t live in a linear world. Past, present and future all have my attention and all are important to the ways in which I manage things.

There are anchors that tie past, present and future together, in the form of stitches that become scarves, of seeds that become plants and then meals and of practice that becomes skill and muscle. Time isn’t a flowing river, where the past moves on to the future and is left behind. Time is a pool where I swim in gentle circles, checking how big the lettuce are getting, if we need soap, what sort of spending we’ve been doing or might do and whether I need to stretch again that day. It’s a restful but efficient way to live and very conducive to evaluation.


Now, though, our imminent departure has put a great big rock in my peaceful little pond and I can’t make a full circle without bumping my head on it! I can’t plant summer flowers; without water, they’ll die before the next person arrives to take care of them. I can’t shop the way I normally do; bulk-buying items like flour and spices is pointless when I won’t be here to use them. I can’t keep gifts or make many things; only so much weight can come back to Australia with us. My current crop may well be my final one; no sense replanting vegetables that will meet the same fate as the flowers.

I’m excited about my future, but right now it’s really interfering with my present!

Don’t worry, I’m not really complaining…. No, I AM really complaining, but I don’t really mean it, so it’s safe to ignore me. I’m looking forward to taking up my Australian life again (binge-reading Jackie French and scheming about suburban livestock is taking up a lot of my free time at present). But living in limbo is making me CRANKY!

Kin is feeling it too, if his complaints about claustrophobia are anything to go by. Spring is a TERRIBLE time to be stuck in a holding pattern; it’s a time for planting, for exciting new projects and setting the foundations for the year, not for trudging along, ignoring the year’s cycle.

Soon, at least, we’ll be able to start packing up some of our belongings and do things like (gulp) dusting off our resumes. In the meantime, though, we’re just waiting…..


What’s a good way to cheer yourself up when you can’t make, plant or buy anything? If you don’t feel like making a suggestion here, feel free to drop by our Facebook page.



(No kisses today;  I’m cranky, so I may end up biting someone)