When you live in a city for as long as I have, you become so used to it, you are incapable of seeing it – I mean REALLY seeing it – anymore. For a writer, this is a terrible thing. The best cure then is to go away for a while – six months at least – but this is not always possible. The next best thing is to entertain some overseas visitors for a few days. And this is what happened to me last week.
My visitors came from Chicago and they were so interested in all the sights that I couldn’t help but share in their enthusiasm. It was like a mini rebirth. I saw Melbourne through their eyes and the veil over my eyes lifted. They loved the quaint Victorian cottages of the inner suburbs, the elegant arcades of the city, the beautiful old trees in the parks, and the meandering river walks. And when we drove out of the city to the countryside, how proud I felt of the landscape in its many changing forms, from Eucalypt forest, to fern gullies, to paddocks of sheep, to soaring cliffs that plunged into the Southern Ocean. All of these places belonged to where I live.
My eyes have been opened. But for how long, I wonder.