...ago we landed in Chennai airport and made the 3 hour drive down to Auroville to our new home and new life. Those early days and weeks passed in a blur of paperwork, visiting friends and getting unpacked.
There is now a feeling of familiarity about this time of year, certain flowers in bloom, fruits in season and bugs and butterflies around. It's nice to be reminded visually of our first moments here. It's been amazing. Sure, there have been a few tough moments, K struggling to settle in the beginning, the heat and tempers of the summer but I honestly don't remember a previous year that I've felt so happy, so right.
I'm getting used to lots, I don't flinch much at bugs (well...except cockroaches), I have perfected the sideways Indian headshake (the universal sign of yes, no, maybe, I don't know, it doesn't matter...etc...) and I can even say a few words of Tamil (it's a slow process as it's an incredibly complex and ancient language). The growing changes over the first months, the nervous feeling about venturing out on my own, my first drive on my moped, my first solo trip into the nearest town. It's nice to feel at home here, I feel it all the more as tourist season slowly starts up again and fresh faced hippy kids shakily drive their mopeds about town looking lost. I love how much I've learned by living amongst people of such different cultures (about 40 nationalities live here), I've discovered kombucha and kimchi, laddus and lemon soda
I miss some things about the UK, fresh air for example, like real fresh cold air. It cools briefly here during a storm - during which I go out on the balcony and embrace the coldness and the wet, but otherwise it's hot, humid, sweaty which gets draining after while - not to mention I am currently blessed with prickly heat rash, the result of constant sweating which feels like thousands of pins being stuck into your skin simultaneously. I miss the ease of finding things I need or want, I had such fun trying to find split pins for a craft project with K, the blank looks of each and every shop keepers face followed by being handed a multitude of other pins, drawing pins, paperclips, etc until I backed off and decided to ask the folks back home to send me some...I (sometimes) even miss convenience food. Here my idea of convenience food is a jar of freshly made pesto from the food co-op, instead of making my own, to go on my pasta - the occasional frozen pizza and chips wouldn't go amiss (or a cider for that matter!). But all that aside, and I'm sure within weeks the novelty would wear off, those longings are not an everyday thing.
My 30th birthday was yesterday and as my 20s have drawn to a close I am reminded how far we've come and how sure I am that we made the right move. No, it's not perfect, there are always jobs, chores, errands, 'things' to do, issues to deal with, people to try to understand or tolerate but at least we're doing all this in a place that facilitates our growth, nurtures our spirits and gives us joy in our hearts.
Roll on the next year!
More soon, with love.