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The gum tree

“Do you want to go back?” he asks me one summer afternoon.

We were strolling through a park at the time.

I knew my husband wasn’t asking about returning to our flat. Back to our teenage son who passed on a walk with his parents.

“I could stay here a long time. It’s completely up to you and our boy whether we head back to Sydney or not.”

“I don’t know,” I respond. “I’m having a fantastic time in London. It’s such an incredible city. There’s so much still to experience! But there are times I really miss Australia.

“I don’t think about Sydney much these days. But then there are sudden moments when I miss people and places we’ve left behind. And I want to get back there that instant.”

We walk on for a bit. Our feet crunch on gravel stones as the path winds through the trees.

“Did you know there’s a gum tree in this park?” my husband asks just when I started to think of all things “home”.

“No. Is there?”

“Yes, I’ll take you to it.”

And there it was. In the middle of a beautiful English park with its trees that changed with the seasons. A thriving eucalyptus tree.

“It must have been there a while. The trunk is quite big,” I say.

“You do know there are gum trees all over the world, don’t you? They can survive outside Australia,” he responds.

“Yeah, but those are our trees. They’re native to Australia,” I reply.

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August 2022
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