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    > 2002





<!-- April 11, 2003 -->

Royal Botanical Gardens/Hyde Park

Walking a park in the bright sunshine is surely beautiful. But strolling at dusk through Hyde Park by myself, I felt that all the past weeks of hard work had paid off.

I entered from College St, a busy street with St. Mary's Catholic Church gracing the corner where it meets Museum Ave. I wandered up to the Archibald fountain, my first view was of Hera lounging beside a deer, then Zeus forms an impressive centrepiece, and various other magestic gods face the poles, all spouting water into the great pool at their feet. All framed by a great avenue of trees.

And it's here that I felt it.

Enveloped by the reaching branches, a canopy overhead, all lit with magical lights, made me feel that I was in a fantasy land. And I suddenly realized, after a day of touring around Sydney Harbour, that I was in one of the most beautiful international cities -- as far away from home as I could get.

It was quiet there, the sounds of the rush-hour traffic dulled by the fairy trees. Only the jazz played by the man at the end of the polished avenue filtered clearly to me.

Turning a corner of a little-used path, I stumbled upon a couple making out. I felt a pang of envy. It was so soft and intimate and magical. I wanted that tender moment for myself.

I want to keep the memory of my walk tonight... the smells, the sounds, the feeling... the feeling of pride that I LIVE here now. I have done it. I've made it happen.

However, I do it, I'll find a job. Maybe at the seafood restaurant on Cockle Bay Wharf. Or maybe at one of the 20-odd bakeries I passed today. I might just end up telemarketing. But it will be HERE. And I will be able to say, "a couple of months ago I was sitting at my computer in Toronto, hating life. And I made a decision and now I'm living it."

And maybe I'll try surfing and maybe I'll get my scuba licence and maybe I'll see the Blue Mountains or maybe not. But I'll have done a lot of things in a year that I wouldn't or couldn't have at home. And then I'll be home again with my friends and family and show them the photos that can only begin to tell the story... the pitiful fragments of memory... and I'll be surrounded by the people that love me again.

And maybe next time I'm walking through Hyde Park at dusk, I won't have forgotten my journal at home and I'll be able to capture all the thoughts and discoveries. And I'll suddenly be gifted with the ability to put it all into words worthy of the experience.

my journal

the limits of talent
the loss of words
not toting my journal everywhere I go.

Lonely Planet's guide to Australia