Words under Pressure #20

Our current trip has once again reacquainted me with the beauty and variety of this wonderful country I have chosen to come and live in. And since I’ve been on the road for days, I have no sewing to show you, and my camera is staying safely in its bag, out of the rain, so it’ll have to be words again.

Someone asked me the other day if it hadn’t been really hard to give up everything and everyone I had in England to emigrate to Australia. Yes, of course it was hard, I was dragging up my whole self by its roots, but it would have been much harder not to come here. I fit in here better than I ever did there, I feel more at home here than I ever did in England. I was drawn, as if by a magnet… It wasn’t ‘brave’, more inevitable!

Immigrant’s Song

Far will I travel over strange lands,
Touching none, seeing none.
Called, pulled by my heartstrings
To a new land, a new home.

Many millions will I pass,
Unguessed, unknown, unmet.
Gladly passed, gladly left,
For my new land, my new home.

Straight as arrow flight
Will I go, eyes ever ahead,
Passing marvels unmarked, undesired.
Towards my new land, my new home.

I have not left the ones I love.
They are all gathered up.
I carry them in my pocket as I walk
In my new land, my new home.

It took a while to adapt, but now you couldn’t pay me enough to get me back. My roots are down deeper here than they ever were there.

12 thoughts on “Words under Pressure #20

  1. That’s how we feel about our move to France more than 20 years ago. I love your poem.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you, Viv. It’s wonderful when you find your true place in the world, isn’t it. All sorts of hitherto unnoticed anxieties and stresses just go away!

  2. pattisj says:

    I’m glad you’re so comfortable with your choice.

  3. I have exactly the same feelings about South Africa – although I had no say in the move, being only 8 at the time, unlike you. I have been back to the UK many times for visits, and love lots of things about being there, but it’ll never be home again.

    • katechiconi says:

      Exactly. If I could transport all my left-behind friends and family, I would. I just find the UK too small, crowded, cold, expensive and a bit stand-offish.

  4. tialys says:

    Hmm. I can’t say I feel exactly like that about France. I have no plans to go back to the U.K. but, if we had to, I wouldn’t mind as long as it was the right house, location and circumstances. I think language has something to do with it in my case. Although I speak fairly good French I am very aware it isn’t my native tongue and, as I like to talk, I do feel restricted in the way I express myself. Normal conversation and dealings with people are fine but small talk, chit chat in a supermarket queue for instance, doesn’t come so easily as it is then one tends to communicate in a common, abbreviated social ‘code’ if you know what I mean, which is harder to access if it’s not your own language.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m fortunate not to have that problem, of course; like you, I love to talk and to be hobbled by lack of language skills would be depressing and would make me unnaturally silent!

  5. EllaDee says:

    Your use of the word ‘gladly’ is heartening. Many people experience change and relocation; come to accept and even enjoy the outcome, but to navigate it gladly and with faith that it’s meant to be is wonderful.
    I look at it like plants, they will grow where their roots are, where the seed fell but with the right nurturing and conditions, they can thrive when relocated as if that’s where they were meant to be all along.

    • katechiconi says:

      And some were just planted in the wrong soil in the first place, like me! I used to be asked on a regular basis “When are you coming home next?” as though I was in some sort of exile. Home is where I am, not simply where I was born and raised.

  6. The poems I like best create a wider way of seeing, especially marrying an unexpected image and emotion as you did here. A pocket is so personal, a slip of fabric warmed by skin, and whenever we reach in our hands are held close as a hug. Perfect.

    I have not left the ones I love.
    They are all gathered up.
    I carry them in my pocket as I walk
    In my new land, my new home.

    • katechiconi says:

      They are my ‘lucky pieces’, my talismans, and must be kept close. Home I take with me wherever I go; it’s only the people I miss. This imagery helps me keep them fresh and vivid in my mind…

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