You may notice that even though my “journey is over”, I am still counting days in the titles of my bog posts. This is for a reason. It because my journey is not over yet. Coping with post-journey trauma (as I feel like I am experiencing right now) is as much a part of the journey as sawing handles off stuff to save weight was a part of the journey way before I even left Japan.
Making my cycle touring tools lighter pre-departure in July 2006
So, on Day 858 of my journey around the world by bicycle and skateboard, I got to meet up with my extended family whom I have not seen for two and a half years. We had a potluck dinner at my parent’s place (everyone brings a dish to share). Present were:
- Older bro Mark and his wife Eline and their two daughters (Zoe and Hayley) who I have not met (born while I was away).
- Nana (Mum’s mum)
- Aunty Les (Mum’s sister)
- Aunty Jenny (Mum’ sister) and husband Nigel
- Cousin Tim
- Cousin Hannah
- Cousin Richard with wife Leanne and daughter Makayla
So that’s twelve adults, one toddler, and two babies.
I spent most of the night sitting and feeling like a small dazed animal. There were only three additions to the family present, but it felt like more. I mean, it felt like there were babies everywhere. Everywhere. And I had blissfully forgotten just how emphatically and with gusto my family (mostly the females) agree on every topic that is ever discussed during family gatherings. I hear that in many families the noise often eminates from disgreements. Not in my family. Everyone agrees, and agrees loudly. I felt like a fish out of water.
I was impressed by, and felt a renewed respect for my older brother Mark. He handled his daughters like a pro, seeming completely at ease with them. Not that I would expect anything less.
Zoe, Mark’s eldest daughter, plucked up the courage to let her Uncle Rob a kiss goodbye when they left. It was a special moment. A new life in the making, a life in which I am part of in family…wow.