“Byron? The Blue mountains? Melbourne? Bali? . . Oh Brazil!”. My brother made his way around the Australian coastline throwing in the odd international locale and slowly an incredulous look dawned on his face.
“Canberra?” he breathed out quietly. “No way!”
Claudio and I looked at each other grinning “Yep, Canberra.”
And so we had let our immediate family and close friends know about our move. And my brother had not been the only one to look puzzled and ask “Why Canberra?”.
And my short answer – because I long for more of a village life. I have lived in big cities for the past 20 years and I’m ready for a change.
I adore so many people I have met in Sydney but you know I really feel cheated by how little time I can spend with you. It’s hard to ‘drop in for a cuppa, to pop over for a meal or to meet you ‘down at the shops’ to ask your opinion about the jeans I’m eyeing off. I miss hanging out, you know, just being around each other for no obvious reason, without worrying about missing the last train or having to pay for more parking.
In Sydney it feels like every time I want to see someone it’s an ‘arrangement’. It’s a time and a place and parking or public transport. There is almost no popping in for a cuppa. And this makes me sad and has been slowly sapping me of life force. I love people and having them around and easily accessible. It is a simple pleasure that makes me feel happy.
If I could gather up our Sydney mob and spirit you away to a quieter, village-like place I would. For now we are planting ourselves outside the big city limits and hoping you will come visit.
It is not that I have no connection in Sydney. From Biodanza I have made many real links with people, deep enough to show and share our hearts with each other. I can’t imagine having lived there these 5 years without these bonds. I am so grateful for them and for you dear friends with whom I share this. I just long for the ease of accessing this connectedness, not only at classes or events, but in the course of everyday living.
Biodanza founder Rolando Toro used to encourage us to start existential initiatives from vivencia. In the case of Canberra, both Claudio and I have experienced many vivencias of contentment here in the past few years. On the strength of that, we have moved here.
Something in the pace of the people, the wide-open streets, the presence of so many trees and the mountains that steadily cradle the city. It feels like there is space and time to breathe, to dream and to be with people, simply living life.
It was also my birthday a few weeks ago. I was born right here in Canberra. I’ve been reflecting that perhaps on a deeper level this country has called me home. Home for rest, home for healing, for renewal. For the gifts of being back on my birth land, under the stars where I took my first breath, among the trees and birdsong where I heard my first sounds.
Will Canberra be all that we expect? Who knows. I do know it feels good to have answered the call and to be living this vivencia – here and now. And yes, please come and visit.