The varied trees stand sentinel to my new abode while the Nambucca River hums over small rocks across the road. I turn to open the door and step inside. I am overwhelmed with emotion. Tears threaten the back of my eyes and push forward ever so slowly. My childhood home was only twice the space I stand in now. Memories flood back to me as I try to control my conflicting emotions around my childhood and now present day life. Eventually I settle for the night but sleep eludes me till pre-dawn. I sleep but it is sleep full of emotional nightmares.
What has tomorrow brought? Sunshine blue skies and theft. I step outside to discover that a thief has stolen the covered 2800i generator strapped securely with rachet straps in the back of the caravan-towing vehicle. Similar straps have been used to secure my ballooning gear for years without theft. I ponder on the audacity of the unknown thief causing sad, heavy feelings in me at this behaviour. A report to the local police, pack up and drive away. A red heart on a rock catches my eye and camera but I won’t return to Port Macquarie at any future date.
A stop at Taree beside the Manning River lightens my mood. Birds fly overhead with the occasional cloud throwing shadows as I prepare a picnic lunch and think of Regula Hug-Messner, my renowned Swiss mentor who introduced me to gas ballooning in 1985 in Switzerland. Happy thoughts now dominate my mental dialogue. I recall that twelve months to this day I was sharing my basket with my only granddaughter, Josie Wilson. Together we had danced on the occasional friendly cloud, admired the beauty of the sweeping land below, finally returning to earth close to the vineyards. Her continual discovery of the magic of using the sky as a playground has cemented her desire to learn to fly. I look forward to teaching her.
What will tomorrow bring?