As I rest with head on pillow to avoid nausea, I have time to think. Lately, adaptations have changed me in ways I never really suspected. After 3 months away from familiar routines, sounds, tastes and sights, I am finally forced by a cold and flu bug to pause and consider.
We are on the verge of a 2 week break between Terms 1 and 2, but I rue the lost chance to celebrate this, as well as Easter events, tomorrow with my students. Their accents and odd phrases have ceased to puzzle me, most of the time. Vowel sounds are still a challenge to decipher, but my pause to process seems shorter, or at least better masked. I feel as though I don't stare with a dumbfounded look of incomprehension for as long as I used to, whenever addressed. Perhaps I'm wrong on this point, but I like to think I'm decoding phrases a bit better.
Sounds of majestic magpies on our tin roof no longer unnerve me, but I do still dislike their scratchy claws on metal. Semi trucks booming past at all hours of the day and night no longer startle me out of a deep sleep, despite their deep house-shaking rumble. I've been known to take quick advantage of their high-beams, like a sudden camera flash, to locate a lost pillow that has slipped from bed to floor, plump it with zeal and fall right back asleep. Even the kookaburra's raucous laughter at 5 am no longer snaps me fully awake. I just note it and slumber on for another hour or so, never needing any electronic buzz to begin my day. That's nice.
I do miss water. Dry air requires more use of moisturizers; no problem there, although I may appear to be aging more rapidly than when living in the cryogenic North. But really, I cannot adapt to a tiny shallow bathtub that barely allows water to cover thighs and will only allow one shoulder at a time to dip under. Rain so far has been little more that a rare misty breeze, but that can easily change. So far, all riverbeds seem to hold just a trickle or less, livestock dugouts hold no swimming appeal and the outdoor unheated pools are not worth admission. I do like the indoor pool, though, and find the filtered rainwater from our tap deliciously sweet to drink. Adapting to fresh grapes off the vines and luscious figs from our tree has also been delightful! I always appreciate the spicy fresh scent that various gum trees perfume the air with, particularly around our schoolyard. Very uplifting! Starry nights amaze with brilliance and multitudes, made truly awesome when accompanied by clear white moonlight. Living in the dustbrown country, with the chance to gaze at sungolden hills 10 kilometers away, over dark emerald trees holding cheeky green parrots and pink gallahs has a peaceful beauty that is easy to love. Kees loves the views, tranquility and isolation. He has unhindered independence each day to read, snooze or troll the 'net. If ambition overwhelms him, he does a spot of housework, mows the lawn or drives the 2 kms into town to check the mailbox.
Gina misses her friends and has not found any here as kind and accepting. I ache for her. She is coping with help of the Internet and reruns of Scrubs. Having her pal coming to visit us in July is a huge event for her to anticipate, so that helps her to cope.
I miss family, especially Cora and Erin. We are so proud of them! Seeing them here for a visit will be the best!
It's very hard to console friends or parents who have lost family members recently. It's been very hard to be so very far from my beloved pooch pal as he underwent the necessary amputation of a limb. I needed to cuddle him as much as I imagine he needed me, but he is adapting.
I think we are adapting well. Melancholy aside, there are many more adventures to investigate. Now to shake this bug and get exploring points south!