Monday 8 June 2009

You can never go back.

This post isn't about food. Just thought I'd get that out of the way.

Believe it or not, there are often things that happen in my life that don't involve food. Not many, mind you, but occasionally something non-food related happens. And up until now I've never felt the need to post about anything other than food.

But today is different.

Do you have a place you go, where your soul feels free? A place you know so well, that even when your eyes are clouded with tears, you can navigate your way there, because you've been there SO many times? A place you go to to heal? A place that is nurturing and whole-making and safe?

A place that is intrinsically entwined with more that half your life's worth of memories?

I went back to my place today.

After 16 weeks, here is what is left of Bronnie's farm at Taggerty.

Here is the remains of the house I helped build, the place where I took Furry and his kids early on in our relationship, to show him where my heart felt freest.

Here's the remains of the stone cottage where I probably conceived my first child.

Here's a view back to the orchard, where my first husband and I built a wattle and daub cottage.

Here's the grove of trees that used to have my hammock in it. It's here, one Summer day, I came up with the name of my first child. I swear I heard her name whispered to me on the breeze, by the fairies that used to live at Taggerty.

Here is what remains of my first kitchen where I cooked for bulk patrons for the very first time. I cooked 40 doz scones in a wood fired Aga, in a converted cow shed, wearing a crinoline dress with a baby possum on my head.

When something as dramatic as this happens, there is a shift in the memory paradigm. You know where you are, but nothing fits in with your memory map. It's like looking at two overlapping slides that don't quite meet.

It's not much, in the grand cosmic scheme of things and nothing at all compared to what others went through 16 weeks ago. But today I realised that Taggerty doesn't know me any more. Its memories of me have been wiped clean. And the laughter that echoed around the fireplace at the stone cottage, and Combat Wombat and Dribbles sitting on my lap outside the Shop and Attilas in the Mist and SBBS chasing silkies and garlic yabbies and the Delarge Garage are all places I can't go back to.


ZenJen11 said...

I know it's not the same, but you can go back there! What you carry in your memories cannot be burnt away. So anytime you need it, just sit back, close your eyes, and travel to that space-time. It's all we've got when it is no longer accessible on the earthly plane.
Jen xx

Jazz said...

I'm so sorry it's gone Peej. But as Jen says, the memories will always be there.

Griffin said...

I know that feeling. I went back to Brighton in Sussex four years ago and while the beach still does it for me, there is a sense of desolation in the town that reminds me that I am without anchor and loose.

Still, while I cannot go back, I can go forwards as you can.

'Tho much is taken, much abides; and tho
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.'

As that Mr Tennyson once put it.

mary(thimblefairy) said...

the memories will live on and on in your heart
i have had similar experiences in my life,,,hold fast to the place you remember

Rikki said...

Ah babe, I'm so sorry. My eyes welled up with tears as I read your post.

I'm so glad you hold those precious memories. I know it's not the same as being able to go back and physically see this place that has brought you so much peace and comfort over the years, but hopefully the memories you hold will help you through the grief of losing this place you have held so dear.

I hope in the future you will find such peace either in the rebuilt version or in somewhere else special that you find along the way.

Love you big xx

frogpondsrock said...

I hear you.

Tan said...

What a heart breaking journey PG!

I had a similar experience recently (not fire related) and it still makes me sad.

Tan xx

Anonymous said...

What a very emotive, lovely memorium Ella.

Bluenose said...

I hear you PG. Gottie and I plan a trip to Marysville soon. Although we do not have direct links there, we have had some lovely times in that beutiful town - and we realise its all gone. I guess we have to see it for ourselves, so that we can grieve for what has been lost. And also to do our little bit to help the local businesses there get back on their feet, for surely its the local business that are such an important part of any community.

I know itas going to be sad, and shock, but we need to do it. You are right, you cannot go back, but then you really cannot go back anyway fire or no fire. I grew up in Nowra on the NSW south coast. the town is stll there, but it is not the town of the 1960s of my memories. Just be glad for your memories and grieve for the loss, but the memories will live onin your heart and although these places will never be what they were before, they will be rebuilt and they will in time become new towns that will find their own places in our memory, beside our treasured memories of times past.

Maree said...

It is devestating, but as Jen and Jazz said, noone can take away your memories and how special that place is to you- and that really comes through in this lovely post.
My husband's family are from Marysville and the first time up there after the fires was just unbelievable ( - getting your head around the scale of the devestation is so hard- but the people we know up there are doing it tough but still determined to rebuild and get their lives back- its important for us to support them. After all the outpourings initially, its important that we continue to support the industries up there- that many of those happen to be wineries make it a little bit easier...

Anonymous said...

Oh, mummy, I'm devastated. It looks nothing like I remember. I can't believe everything is gone. Even though she doesn't live there anymore, poor Bron, way for he life's work and legacy to be burnt to nothing.