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The view near Brady's Lookout, just down the road from our house

The view near Brady’s Lookout, just down the road from our house

So we’ve been in Tassie for about a month now. As the drums of ‘normal life’ take up their relentless beat, we find ourselves in the midst of this beautiful place, wondering “what do we do now?” We have unpacked all the boxes, bought a couple of bits of furniture to fill up the empty rooms (eg, a spare bed in case you come to visit!) and have even trained the cats to know that bedtime means going to the garage, not up to my bed (they almost certainly go to the garage for the bribe of a handful of food but hey, I’ll take it). I’m getting back into the swing of work, slowly.

We’re tired. As anticipated, this is very different to a move across town. This is…everything. New climate, new views, new people, new customs.

Things we’re slowly getting used to:
  • referring to the rest of Australia as the mainland
  • referring to heat pumps (aka air conditioners)
  • remembering to take bags when shopping – single use plastic bags were banned here a number of years ago
  • not seeing Juanita Phillips or Jeremy Fernandez on the ABC news
  • not having to factor hours of travel/parking-spot-hunting time in when we go anywhere
  • being rugged up with the heater on while friends on social media talk about the sweltering heat in Sydney – the climate isn’t the problem, it’s the disconnect. I’m no longer experiencing even roughly the same weather as most of the people I talk to online every day. Same time zone though. There is that.
  • restaurant food being so expensive
  • macropods in the backyard at night
  • silence at bedtime – good sleep without the sound of traffic outside my window!
  • the stunning natural beauty we see every day
  • not knowing anyone or doing anything at church

That last one is a challenge, but a good one I think. Having been on the music roster most weeks for the past several years, it is really strange to not have any responsibilities or say in the service, but it is important to re-learn how to be a person in the pew. It’s humbling and makes me realise how much of my own ego is involved in any ‘act of service’ (unfortunately that double-mindedness is part of being in this broken world, but something worth resisting where possible!). It is also a challenge, when the music at our new church is not of the standard I’m used to, to remember to appreciate the effort and commitment of those who are getting up there to sing/lead, and also to be grateful for the wonderful team I served with at Wild Street.

It’s weird not to feel that we belong anywhere. Ultimately, it’s a good reminder that we weren’t made to belong here (to paraphrase CS Lewis). We do have to live well wherever God has led us, which means knowing and loving others, and sharing the abundance of what God’s given us, but we’re hopefully here for the long haul, no need to rush. Relationships and niches and belonging will come.

I was very much encouraged by our dear friend Lucy, who has been here for the past four years (also from Sydney), when she said it was okay to do nothing, to just exist, to not necessarily leap in and try to do everything all at once, and that it can take a good year before we might start to feel settled. She knows and understands the type of tiredness and depression I struggle with, and even though it’s easy to say “I need to be kind to myself”, it’s good to have someone external tell you it’s okay to need to rest and just get through each day. And if that’s all I can manage, hey, it’s a pretty marvellous part of the world to do that in.