I am a child of the wilderness. I grew up in a place dense with macrocarpa trees, on a hill that led down to an inlet. Seals and sea elephants would ride the tides, and I would nest in a thick vine of passionfruit, creating worlds with my mind as kids are legendary at doing.
When I was a teenager, I dreamt of a metropolitan life. A sparse, white apartment in an anonymous highrise in the middle of some big city overseas. Maybe America, maybe Europe.
Ten years on, I laugh at how I kidded myself. I am no city slicker. Too much concrete jungle makes me run for the hills, desperate for green, open space and quiet. Nothing can restore my equilibrium quite like the country.
Recently my boyfriend and I moved house. We picked this place not because of the polished wood floors (which are nice, admittedly) or the modern decor (the walls need repainting, the carpets are stained, spiders lurk in every corner, and left alone for a day, the house acquires a musty smell), but because it is wild. A little bit of country in the middle of the city. Here, the bird song is louder than the traffic. Nature grows where and as it pleases. Every window offers a view of the sky, uninterrupted by rooftops. There is a peaceful stillness, a reflective silence in the air, no matter the weather.
We don’t own this house. We are its keepers, its carers for only a year or two. But already we have nestled in, put our hands in the earth, planted ourselves, called it home.