The other day we drove back from the Stirling Range where we had spent a few days with our friends. On the way back home to Perth, we came passed the Boddington sign, a 120 minutes drive South East of Perth along the Albany Highway. We turned off for a visit to this sheep farming- and gold mining town.
In November 1986 we were newly married and we moved from The Hague, the Netherlands into this sleepy Australian country town along the Hotham River. With open eyes and an open heart I threw myself into the country life, knowing full well that I had to earn my place in the tightly knit community. We enjoyed some very good years but in April 1989 we left Boddington to be relocated to another Australian town at the other side of the country.
Years later we moved back to the West and whenever we had the opportunity we would nip into Boddington, or visit the annual rodeo there. On those occasions we always drove passed our “old house”.
So last Friday we drove into Boddington and we stopped again at the house where we had lived the first three years of our marriage, the first three years of our Australian life. While we parked opposite, the current owner, whom we know well, arrived with her two grandchildren. It was a very warm welcome that she gave us and she invited us for a cup of tea. Hesitantly we walked inside and shyly we looked around. After a bit of encouragement, I relaxed and showed our friends around: this is were we lived and through there you will find the formal lounge. And over there, that glassy area, is the atrium where ekidnas kept us awake at night.
An hour later we left this beautiful house on the hill and we continued our trip back to Perth. My heart was full with memories and an feeling of panic overwhelmed my thoughts. Twenty nine years since we moved to Australia, twenty five years since we left Boddington – so long ago yet it felt like it only happened last week. Where had time gone? Unexpectedly that confrontational question crept up – what had I done the last twenty nine years?
I rested back in the car chair and I closed my eyes while hundreds of pictures went through my head like a slide show gone viral. I wondered had I lived my life so far to its full potential? With eyes still closed I concentrated on this question. After a while an easiness got hold of me, I relaxed and I opened my eyes. I looked out over the road ahead of me: silence, not another car insight; the blue skies above me and my soulmate next to me. I felt contentment – yes, I have a very good life and yes, I live my life to its full potential. How lucky am I?