Day 141- a bumpy landing

I’m so excited to be home, I almost run through customs. When I race to hug my mum she has tears in her eyes but suddenly four months dissolves into moments and it is like I’ve never been away.

My first stop is my favourite cafe for a soy mocha and raisin toast. It is a sunny autumn morning and the ocean is a rich blue surrounded by the sandstone cliffs of Malabar. I had forgotten how beautiful it is to be beside the ocean. Coffee tastes amazing- if there is one thing that Australians have mastered is the espresso machine. Toby’s Estate coffee beans have me in sensorial bliss. But the highlight of home is the shower. I’ve been showering out of a bucket for longer than I can remember and the luxury of running hot water was a rarity I learnt not to expect but I am now more aware of how much water a shower wastes. Actually it’s just under 10 litres per minute. So even with my four minute sand timer that I use religiously I am still spending 40 litres of water. In India I could shower with half a bucketful, maybe 10 litres total. I get out and look at my array of skin care. I have a bit of an addiction when it comes to skin products and airport shopping has attacked my credit card. I carefully apply toners and eye creams and lotions and all the other recommended products I would have read about in Vogue. Have I already become a slave to marketing? Is the consumer culture already brain washing me again? I just spent two months washing my hair with a bar of soap. It worked fine before… One outrageously expensive new haircut later and I guess my membership to the consumerist slave movement has been confirmed. Why is it considered impolite to tell a customer how much foils cost until after its all done? I know it can be awkward to make the assumption that I can’t afford it but right now I actually can’t!

Due to the 4 and a half hour time jump I missed out on sleep so I feel hungover even though I didn’t drink on the plane. I wonder around the shopping centre with my friend and mum and in my dazed state I forget what I’m looking for and end up going home with a new jacket. I feel annoyed and disappointed with myself for spending money needlessly. It isn’t that I don’t like my hair or my jacket. It’s just knowing how far that money could go in India… How many lunches it could buy for street children, how many beds for a child in need. With all the money I spent today I could send a girl from Ladli to college for a year
Dinner is my favourite- mum’s vegetable soup. I stop to pray before eating, something I’ve been doing since the Gedong Gandhi ashram in Bali. For the first time today, I feel connected to the higher self. Coming home has been a shock, I almost felt lost and a little homesick surrounded by this consumer culture, but this is all it takes to come back to self, back to true home. I don’t need to be in India, I don’t need to be anywhere on the outside. I just need to turn inwards and in stillness and silence find the cave of the heart where the holy river of life flows and the internal fire crackles and burns.

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