Lately, with the months ticking away, I’ve been thinking more and more about what I will miss about Scotland when we leave, and this has set in motion thoughts about what I missed about Australia when I left there, and what I missed about Florida when we moved to Scotland. I decided to list the things I miss from each of those places, and have a go at predicting what I may miss from here.
Keep in mind that whenever I leave a place, I miss the friends and family I leave behind, but I’m going to keep this post simple, so it’s about the other things I miss.
Let’s start where it all began –
What I missed when I left Australia:
1. The beautiful gum trees in all their varieties and the scent of eucalyptus.
2. The friendliness of strangers, the smiling faces in the shopping centres.
3. The noisy colourful birds.
4. The ability to visit a friend unannounced.
5. Shops, schools, doctors, dentists, friends, beaches and buses, all within walking distance of where I lived.
6. The soft tones of the Australian accent.
What I missed when I left Florida:
1. The hot humid weather which meant I knew exactly what to wear to be comfortable almost every day.
2. The dramatic thunderstorms and brief torrential downpours.
3. Eating dinner outdoors almost every night, watching the wind make patterns on our lake.
4. Looking over our tropical garden to the lake and the reserve beyond.
5. Swimming in the warm waters of the ocean and our swimming pool.
6. Our lovely home and magical garden.
What I think I’ll miss when I leave Scotland:
1. The thrill I get when big fat snowflakes flutter out of the sky.
2. Walking in the snow and feeling the snowflakes land on my nose.
3. The way my world can be transformed into a white wonderland when the snow stays for a few days.
4. The beautiful hoar frost on the trees.
5. The crunch of autumn leaves underfoot.
6. The long slow approach of spring, becoming more outrageous as each month passes. First the snowdrops hint of it’s approach, then the crocus announce, ‘not long now.’ Next come the fields of bluebells and daffodils before the grand finale when the trees dress themselves in magnificent shades of bright new greens.
7. The ability to visit anywhere in Europe, inexpensively and quickly.
8. The lilting Scottish accent and the quirky dialects.
In truth, I’m not sure I will miss any of these things when I return to Australia. These are the things I love about living in Scotland, but I doubt I’ll be hungering for them much, because I’ll be in my country with those things I began missing almost ten years ago.
And now, the final verse of Dorothea McKellar’s My Country –
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.