Friday, 7 September 2007

gone missing

I had a flick back through m'blog just now looking for a photo, and spotted that last winter, in the brisk blue bone-dry chill of Saskatchewan, I was missing a misty moisty Midlands midwinter.

The irony.

I've got my misty moisty midwinter wish, complete with grey and damp and rains and mud and green green grass. I'm approaching spring-summer, after double winter in the Northern and then the Southern hemisphere...and what am I craving? A crisp autumn chill, burning off into a glorious cloudless sunny day, and then overnight that first big clean snow and the first take-your-breath-away cold day that means summer's gone for good.

Seriously. Is it me, or is it a general human condition, missing whatever you currently don't have?

For me, it seems, it's clinically impossible to remember accurately anything about any place I've ever been, and this leads to a) rose-tinted specs syndrome and b) if I'm not careful, wishing my life away. Example: last winter, on a day when getting across the street to buy bread and milk was an effort too great, after weeks of not being able to get to the public swimming pool or the library or the knitting shop or anywhere not within two feet walking distance of my door, after a ten minute walk to the mall resulted in facial windburn, I said to myself, "when at some point in the future we make it to New Zealand and I feel homesick, I must remember this moment, because I will be all rose-tinted and think I was happy to be doing this." And now, I just think, aww, it wasn't that bad really. I mean, not compared with being able to see your breath inside the house, and all your clothes getting wet in the rain and never really properly drying out.

Then the other day, when I went off on that nice little morning walk because the sunrise was so pretty, I thought, "I must remember this moment later in the day when I feel defeated and cold and homesick, because at this moment I feel happy and I know there are nice things about New Zealand that I would not experience elsewhere." And then I get defeated and cold and homesick and I recall that moment, and I think, shpfff. Wasn't that great. You can get a nice sunrise in anyplace, especially ones that are not this far away from everyone and also only cold on the outside.

Considering I have now lived in three different countries, in several different cities and towns and even a village or two, and considering that in the future the chances of us internationally up-sticking again are quite high, I wonder exactly how much missing can one person realistically do? Supposing we are ensconced back in Canada or England, and I think, okay, yeah, I've got my family and friends right around the corner, and a nice warm flat, and then suddenly start remembering that really nice coffee place here, and how cool it would be to go up the cable car somewhere that isn't geographically flat as a pancake, and how lovely it was to have a real fire blazing in the grate, which wasn't all that hard to light actually...

It can't be healthy to carry on like this. Advice on living in the moment, please. Immediately.

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