For the past few months, I've been staying in the bedroom that was mine as a child. My family has lived in this house, which they built, since I was 4 and sometimes it feels like it is my entire world. This is the room I first shared with my sister. This is the room where we used to play. This is the room that I vacated as a young woman leaving home. This is the room I come back to.
Of an evening, I look up and out of the windows above my bed. I can see the stars clear and unobscured by the small-town lights. The number of stars and the size of the night sky, never fail to dazzle me. When I'm in the city, I miss the stars and I have learnt to pay them due attention when I'm home. The view out of the the window is through fly screen and a security grill, which my mum had installed years ago to protect her three daughters from the evils of the world. It meant that we were allowed to keep our windows open through the sticky, humid summer months and it also meant that we could sleep to the sounds of the night.
I close my eyes so I can listen better. The best sound - the very best sound of all - is the sound of the Pacific Ocean, about 150 metres from where I lie. The rhythmic wash and roar that changes with the swells and weather, but which never fails to soothe me. When it storms the oceanic lullaby is lost and mixed within the sounds of the rain, the wind, and the leaves rattling together. Like variations of the same sound, they meld into their own symphony outside my window, leaving me safe and dry despite their best efforts.
In the morning, the light streams in across my bed and face, waking me up. In the summer the sunlight is full of too much heat to be comfortable and closes off the option of sleeping in. It's bright and relentless and reminds me to get out and about before it's too hot for me to cope with.
From the angle in my bed, I can see the fronds of the palms and the acacia trees on the eastern fence line. I use these trees to tell me about the wind each morning - where it's coming from, how strong, if it could change later. Years and years of the same trees from the same angle have taught me to know when to get up and go, and when to chill. That one view, that one window has created a sanctuary at the end of the house for me. It is a window to a place that I know, a view that I know and sounds that I know, and that all mean more than a good night's sleep.