My mother began to say, after a time, that she wanted to go home.
She has lived in Australia since she was twelve, but England will always be her home, I think – even though she was born in Ireland.
I want to go home.
It took me many years to realise the gravity of her statement. I realised she stayed for my brother and I. And now she wanted to go home again. To return to the cold. To the moors. To the long, winding roads and all the little gardens in a row.
A part of me wonders if that’ll happen to me. If I might move to Canada and live there for many years. Thirty, forty. I certainly don’t want to go home right now. But maybe I’ll miss it one day.
I wonder what my mum misses sometimes. I know she loves the weather. The drizzle, the wet, the rain, the cool. I know she feels like Christmas is different when it’s not cold, good – but different all the same.
I wonder if she misses the birds. Larks, or finches, or robins, maybe.
And the flowers. The crocuses, the snowdrops, the foxgloves, the daffodils, the cowslips. All the flowers with their pretty little bowed heads, sleeping in the dew.
And would that be it, then? My whole family scattered across little corners of the earth? Me in Canada, my brother in a little country town in the middle of Australia and my mum in the moors?
That doesn’t feel wrong, that doesn’t worry me. As long as everyone’s happy, we can live away from each other. Doesn’t mean we’re not family.
We’ll just fly home in different directions, won’t we?