I woke with the curtain brushing across my cheek and the morning sun already filtering through my lashes. Tomorrow, the sun will wake me again, before disappearing, hiding behind the moon. Last week I would have been just under the path of the true eclipse, hoping for a fine day - though what other sort of day would I have had in the place that hadn't rained for 3 months? But I would not be anywhere else but here, enjoying the partial eclipse from the verandah as the breeze rushes up the hill.
There's an excitement and romanticism about the eclipse. One that extends to its very name despite what Stephenie Meyer may have attempted to do to besmirch it. I imagine there will be many proposals tomorrow under the dark morning sky - promises to be lights in darkness, suns to moons etc etc. The thought makes me smile, but I am still happier home with my partial eclipse and my partially romantic life.
Because, after 18 hours along the Bruce Highway I am home. Properly home. Not just for a weekend, not for a holiday, but home. I have given up my little flat with the wallaby that came in the mornings and the evenings, foraging in the grass. I have said goodbye to the little room where I danced in the dark and the friends I made in the middle of the night. I am back from being someone respected and feted to bottom of the ladder again and it's the way it should be.
I received an amazing end of term report and even nicer personal reviews. There is nothing quite like the feeling of having your mentors think well of you, and not only think well but share that with you and with others. To have people that will remember you, long after you've stopped working under them but will write nice things when a reference is required. But even nicer is the knowledge that they liked me as a person, respected and genuinely enjoyed my company. It made what could have been an awful time not only bearable but valuable.
In some ways it has been hard coming home and being responsible for hair brushing and dinner for 5 and setting the table and loads of laundry. To a husband that not only has never thought of writing me sonnets about suns and moons but who has become profoundly depressed about his lack of employment since I've been gone and as aware as I am that my hours are now much less and I am earning barely enough to keep us all afloat. To the extent that I am looking for a second job because a life of just getting by is too difficult.
But somehow, even with those stressors, I'm still happier home. Where I'm woken in the morning by the brush of curls under my chin and the sun in my eyes. Even if it will be hidden for a time tomorrow. The shadow will pass. And it's not the same unless I was on a yacht anyway, watching the moon ink the waves.