It was a particularly dirge-like morning recently when I was struck forcefully by the notion that I was destined to become a recluse; just like my parents. That maybe it was genetic and as inescapable a fate as my green eyes. I didn’t mind a bit.
I have no evidence to back this up except two parents who avoided people, individually and en masse, like battle weary men avoid the January sales. My father is from a long line of cattle station rugrats who wasn’t comfortable if there were more than two people within 100km of his position.
My mum married into the hermit-like nature that lifestyle brings with it. You went to town every three months maximum. If it weren’t for non-perishable foodstuffs we would never have gone. The mail came once a week (bonus: reduced contact hours with people) and otherwise it’s just you and a vast expanse of nothingness and the the whistle of the wind.
You learn to love a gardening pitchfork and the pin prick mini details of all that simplicity. Fossicking about in gardens, contemplating this and that … self reflection. I have no doubt that when my sister leaves home at the end of this year my mother will gather her belongings in a trundle cart and dart off into the mountains where she can be left in peace with her animals and vegetable patch and her rudimentary humpy.
And I might not have many years left before I do the same.