Remembrance of Things Past

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                 “The real journey consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”
                             Marcel Proust  “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu

Now that I have completed over twenty different house sits , both long and short, I can see different patterns and purposes emerging.

Sure, I consider a number of factors when I decide to take a house sit;locality, nature of the pets, my intuition about the home-owners and a range of other aspects. But what I’ve discovered since reflecting on my lifestyle for the past two years, is that there can be a higher purpose to being in an area at that particular time. But in spite of this awareness, the latest experience took me by surprise-in a tender and touching way.
In that impossible book about memory,Proust outlines the power of the olfactory sense to takes us back so powerfully and quickly to the past. My experience was a visual trigger. I was driving around a corner on beautiful Lake Macquarie when I saw the view. I’d been here before, had lived here before in what felt like was another lifetime.I had taken that view of the placid lake with its scrounging and intimidating pelicans, into my very being.
The surprise came quickly after recalling that fact when I realised that what’s more I had been happy there, really happy. How is it possible to forget such happiness? My husband and I were in the first year of our marriage and our son had arrived not long after. The three of us loved each other,  in such a light and tender way as we enjoyed the simple pleasures of life on the lake, with beautiful sunsets and pesky pelicans flying onto our lawn each afternoon waiting for some canned fished or other titbit from our kitchen. I loved to walk my son in his pram around the lake where fish would make an an unexpected splash or the sound of a speedboat in the distance, send ripples on the lake which would eventually fade into placid lapping along the shore.
Like the pelicans, I waited for my husband to return home from college each evening and his smile as he walked in the door bought such joy that it felt like the small fibro cottage was I fused with the feeling. And it was. Returning to the area made me realise how we had left an imprint of happiness in the area which was immediately re-animated in me.

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We moved on after six months, returning to the city, got serious about our studies and careers became super stressed so that things which once gave joy, now only produced annoyance and after seven years, divorced. 
We moved through the anger and hurt and began to build new lives for ourselves, separately.  I came to  believe that the divorce defined the marriage but it didn’t. The happiness, that tender and light hearted joy of young love, still lives on in that beautiful lakeside area. How lucky was I to re-discover it!

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