Friday, January 21, 2011

The Day Before I Went Home

I must admit that I still have post-holiday hangover. So once in a while I will blog about my trip to attempt to document that which I was not able to process immediately.

For the Sunday mass on the Baptism of the Lord, I went to Our Lady of Dolours in Chatswood. It was right after Christmas Day, also known as Boxing Day in those parts. The streets were very quiet. On the way home, my father and I were the only people on the bus!

Many Asians go to mass here. There's even a Filipino mass once a month where Pinoy food is served afterwards. The parishioners do it potluck and they bring their individual specialties. I skipped this one as I didn't actually miss Pinoy food while I was away.

I returned to this Church the week after, during the Feast of the Epiphany. As if to close the book on my holiday, to prepare me for Ordinary Time.

I had mixed feelings that day. I was very, very grateful for how the six weeks had turned out. At the same time I was very sad as I was leaving and going back to the real world, my real life, and all my responsibilities. Most of all, I was going to miss my parents, my niece, my Ate, and my brother-in-law.

I talked to God, thanking Him profusely, asking Him to take care of my family. I also recognized how blessed I was, that it was time of spring again. And then I asked Him to show me what He wanted me to bring home - what attitudes, goals, hopes, and experiences should stand out. Of course everything I had seen and done would forever stay with me - it was, after all, a life-changing trip inside and out - but they were all mixed inside my head. I needed clarity as I started a new year and a new life.

I was very much aware of how the seasons had changed while I was in Oz. I arrived just before Advent started, and it was still springtime in Sydney. The neighborhood I lived in, Lane Cove, was covered in Jacaranda lilac. It was so beautiful. It was also, more importantly, the First Sunday of Advent. I finished Advent, attended Christmas, all the way to the Feast of the Three Kings.

My mother removed the Christmas decor the day that I left for home. My family back home and officemates were so sweet as to wait for me before removing their belens, Christmas trees, and other decorations. I was touched.

I got a warm welcome everywhere I went. I thus did not feel so sad. A bit disorientated, yes (I used to say "disoriented"), but not really out of place.

I am now living in two worlds, at home in both. Just like the movie Inception, however, I had to wake up from my beautiful dream and to start living again. I will be back to dream land soon, and perhaps one day my reality will involve just one world. Just one life. Someday.

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