One minute you’re in a large hotel in the centre of Melbourne at a 3000 strong conference and the next, you’re in an empty guest house in the middle of nowhere. That takes some adjusting I can tell you! This situation offered me a good opportunity to think about how we transition from one space into another. More importantly, it provides us with some important reflections about what our expectations of our children and young people are when it comes to transitions. Even with the vast experiences of travel, 52 years on the planet and a love of adventure, it felt intense. I felt very alone. Drawing on my favourite and learned strategies, I stepped outside for connection (earth), I got the wood burner going (fire), asked my Twitter friends and family for a squeeze (relational) and drank plenty of water (water). Thinking through the elements as needs or thinking through the senses in this way, can help us ground again. It wasn’t long before I felt that sense of a temporary ‘home’ that I seem to be able to cultivate just about anywhere with a few little tweaks and a cup of tea.
We expect so much of children when it comes to transitions, usually because we are so indoctrinated by ideological beliefs that state that children are able to weather, well, just about anything. It never did me any ‘arm… ahem! But in reality, transitions need much more serious consideration than they are ever given and for children with ruptures in their domains of belonging, school, home and community, it is vital.
I slept so peacefully and as the sun rose, I was greeted with 5 kangaroos, 2 of whom put on a little sparring for me as they passed by the window. A gentle breakfast and a sleepy town called Macedon was calling. I say sleepy….well it was, until of course one lands in Mr Cafe Macedon and then it’s like you’re in a busy metropolis of relationally connected coffee drinkers who haven’t seen each other for years. In reality, I imagine in a place this small, you see the people who live here every day! The people in this coffee shop know they belong here, I fantasise. The background soundtrack is entirely 80’s music which fortunately makes me happy but provides a further air of a distant land and time where, drawing on the appropriate cultural reference of Cheers, everyone knows your name.
My next stop was Castlemaine which was where I delivered the first Symposium for Anglicare. A town full of colonial-style architecture, coffee shops and friendly inhabitants, I wasn’t disappointed. The group of practitioners who attended were stunning. Tomorrow I have a day at leisure. I wonder what I shall get up to 😉