I love Australia.

I really love Queensland.

I am an Australian. I am a  Queenslander.

I was born in New Zealand. I came here unwillingly, however since my parents were migrating across the Tasman, I had little choice. We lived in Melbourne. I hated it. I returned to NZ To finish my schooling.  When I returned to my family I struggled in many ways for years. I had no anchor and no sense of belonging. Yes, there with others issues at play. I wrote tortured autobiographical poetry. The albatross became my metaphor. I was certainly ungainly on the ground. I yearned to soar. It wasn’t happening.
Years later amidst turmoil and insistent voices telling me I couldn’t, I drove north. Through New South Wales. To Queensland.
Quickly I felt at home. I felt a sense of belonging. I signed up and I went through the ceremony to become an Australian. I felt an inner peace.

(Interestingly my mother then decided to become an Australian. My father then followed her example. He said for the ‘free tree’, but we all knew better)
I discovered that my sense of being home was not some vague ethereal feeling but rather I was now geographically very close to where my fraternal family planted their family roots.
In the late 1880s James Senior came with his son James Junior and bought land in the Norman Park, East Brisbane area.

There they built a family home. It still stands, albeit renovated.

(On a visit to Brisbane, during my teens, I visited the original house but I lost this memory during a serious illness)
James’s wife Mary then travelled from Ireland bringing James Junior’s twin sister, Eliza and the other children. More children came into the family. Much later one of them travelled to New Zealand and established his life there.
Meantime my maternal family antecedents had travelled from Sweden and made New Zealand home. The generations unfolded until my father met my mother.

Life came full circle.

I am an Australian. I am a Queenslander.

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