Endings and Beginnings - Nov 2015

It's been a time of endings and beginnings over the last couple of weeks.

Tonight I went for a walk along the Maribyrnong River.  As I was leaving my place, the sky was pink and there was a little pale fingernail moon in the sky.  I walked along the river on the Flemington Racecourse side, enjoying the quiet evening.  A few Vietnamese men were fishing, a few people were walking their dogs... but really, nothing much else was happening.  I almost had the track to myself for most of the way.  I saw the remnants of the Spring Carnival debris scattered on the public land surrounding the river.  I crossed over the bridge at Farnsworth Avenue, from the Ascot Vale side to the Footscray side. More changes to Footscray Park. The light had faded now, and the moon was behind me and glowing brightly.  Ahead of me was the sights and the lights of the city in the distance, making a pretty picture.  Nothing remains the same. Change happens...in order to move on, you have to let things pass...you have to fully enter into the present moment.  With each step, I was moving on... going home.

I thought about the last few days especially.  My father-in-law has passed away.  On Thursday, I will be attending his funeral with my children. On the previous Thursday, I had spent a special time with him.  Just the two of us.  He is the last link to what was an amazing heritage for my children. Phillip Francis Ryan's grandparents were Irish. His grandfather was Matthew Ryan, who arrived at the age of 20 (in 1857) from county Tipperary. He married a Bridget Hogan and they took advantage of the Lands Act, where large grazing leases were granted to settlers. They selected 300 acres of volcanic land on the Heathcote Road about 7 kms south of Colbinabbin.

His son Matthew (Phil's father) later ran a mixed farm in Wanalta, where a grandson still has half the original property to this day.
My children now grow up hardly knowing of this Irish heritage and were too young to remember the various reunions on the family property. With the passing of Phil, has gone a passing of an era of horse and buggy, Sunday evening music around the piano, the first car - the Studebaker...Things and experiences that belonged in another time and place.

On Friday, I will return to Sri Lanka for the first time in 43 years.  My children and my 83 yo father will travel with me. It will be the first time my children will experience my Sri Lankan heritage; the last time my father will see his homeland and his two sisters.  It will be a time to remember and make new memories and experiences different from the childhood ones I have carried over these many years. When I travelled in my late teens, I never wanted to go back....too many ghosts in the past.  But now I am ready.... ready to integrate the old and the new.  To let go of what I need to let go of and to embrace what will be in front of me, without the fear of the child hindering me, but hopefully with the joy and the anticipation of the child I rarely experienced in me.

So here's to new beginnings... to starting again.  To seeds that have burst in the fire and fallen down in the ground of fertile ashes...ready to sprout again.
I am ready.

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