Rain drops hang silver on the outside blinds, thunder rumbles and the sky is dark and grey. The air is muggy and the garden outside is richly scented with mock orange and deeply, vividly green.
We've made the big move, we're sort of unpacked, we're slowly stretching out to re-root. We've had the school interview, the kindy visit, and we're almost sort of working out the time difference. The kids are no longer waking at 4.30 am but a more decent six.
And that moment, the moment I stepped out of the plane into night and rain and muggy warmth, the trees of the tropics all around, (as I've done so many times before) clutching bags and baby and calling desperately, futilely for overeager kids to slow down and Do. Not. Get. Off. The. Plane. Till. Mummy's. Caught. Up. Stop! Wait! (which I have not done so many times before) That moment is now in the past. *
Stepping onto the metal, rain-wet steps, the kids in front clutching the stewardesses hand, walking across the tarmac, whispering Little one, this is it, this is our new home to the babe in arms, her first time here on-the-outside, her first time on a plane when not within. That moment is also in the past.
We're here. Everything is old-new and we are discovering new things and remembering old favourites. This is the place Beloved grew up, and it is strange but nice to be returning to his home town, for my kids to grow up knowing the same places.
Beloved's dad grew up here as well and they talk easily of happenings from sixty years ago. My father- in-law remembers watching the planes flying back from the war (the Korean I think), Beloved remembers the time some jokers put a crocodile in the ornamental lake. My sprocket scampers along the rivers muddy banks after the darting water dragons. I discover river mud has its own smell and does not easily come out.
Rain is forecast until we take flight again (we discovered today we leave for the UK in three days not four. whoops. That could have been a tad disastrous) and in the interlude we are enjoying the relief from broiling heat.
Now my little ones sleep and cicadas sing and I am glad to be at journeys end - if only for the moment.
*It will possibly come as little surprise that in the rush of kids and the chaos of bags my wallet went missing, possibly more surprising is the supreme unhelpfulness of the airline in tracking it down. Sigh. C'est la vie.