Last Thursday, we came back to Melbourne. Marius dropped Prima and me at the airport at Newcastle and we flew home in an hour and a half, while he and Primus drove the buggy back down the Hume Highway, arriving some 12 hours after we did.
We do not consider ourselves royalty who -- perhaps it is a modern legend? -- are reputed not to travel all on the same plane, rather, Prima had an appointment in Melbourne on Thursday afternoon and wanted me to accompany her on the flight.
Before we left, I whispered to Marius 'If you have time, please drive past our house again and pick me a rose.' When we passed by on the way up, it didn't occur to me to get out of the car and approach the gate, touch the fabric of our house; rather my heart was pounding suficiently with the emotion of seeing the place for the first time in over ten years. It was only when we were all talking about it later that it occurred to me that I could have a souvenir, as it were.
I love roses and when we lived in Sydney, we planted over 70 of them. My criteria were simple: they had to be fragrant, disease-resistant and repeat flowerers. Many of them are from the rose breeder David Austin, and carry wonderful Shakespearian and Chaucerian names. The front rose garden that is just inside the fence once bloomed continuously, with only a brief pause of dormancy in July (our winter). I always wanted to have enough flowers in bloom so that if a passer-by plucked one, it would make no difference to the display. I often offered a rose to someone walking home from the station after work if I was out 'dead-heading' the bushes.
When Marius finally arrived back in Melbourne, after dropping Primus at his place in the city, it was quite late, and my single pink rose had been out of water for many hours. I've been pressing her under a pile of books and plan to take her back to Exile with me.
Here she is:
After the sorry post earlier about home and dislocation, I confess I feel happier now. Not sure if the rose has anything to do with that, or whether it is merely the space and time between me and our beautiful house.
Tomorrow night we fly back.