The reality of our move is slowly creeping up on us. In a previous post, I mentioned that the first big milestone in our journey to Australia was receiving news that our visa application had been approved. Immediately afterwards, we went on a research trip down under, but after that, things pretty much returned to normal.
Things really took a leap forwards about six weeks ago, when we finally received an offer we were happy with for our house in Denmark. After accepting the offer verbally, we had to go into the office of our estate agent and sign all the legal paperwork which would make the deal binding.
As we sat there, chatting away, partly in English, partly in Danish, the finality of our signatures on those pieces of paper began to hit us. We weren’t just signing a financial contract, we were signing legal confirmation that our nearly 10 years in Denmark were coming to an end. We were committing to move out of the only home that our kids (aged eight and 11) had really known. We were committing to a journey that would eventually end in Canberra, but that would become a fairly unstoppable chain of events once we put pen to paper.
I think there was a moment of hesitation on both our parts, and we looked to each other for that unspoken eye contact that we have to tell each other: “This is right. It’s going to be okay. And if it isn’t, we’ll work that out together too.” And then we signed.
They say that in moments of great significance, time can seem to slow, so that minor details and fleeting emotions can be accurately recalled even years later, and something similar seemed to happen here too.
For a moment, I was transported back to the day when we found out my wife was expecting our first child. I remember it because, much as Hollywood would have us believe that this is a moment of mutual, unbridled joy, our experience was a little different. Yes, we were overjoyed, excited, proud and all those other things. But we were also scared. We felt as if we were staring over a precipice, about to jump, and knowing that nothing could pull us back once we did.
Signing those papers felt exactly the same. It was everything we wanted. It was a moment to celebrate. And yet, in amongst all that happiness, there was that echo of a feeling of knowing that we were about to do something that would have no safety net, no guarantees and would include more than its fair share of heartache.
Just as we did when it came to starting a family, we held hands and jumped. There was no going back now.
Something else has happened since we sold our house, too. The happiness of our current situation seems to have been magnified. As if the knowledge that we are experiencing certain things for the last time has accentuated the pleasure we derive from them.
This summer has been Denmark’s best in living memory. The time we spend with friends and fellow parents; the days out, weekends away, family activities, even dog walks, all seem markedly more enjoyable than before. Maybe this is the perfect summer of our lives, or maybe we are just squeezing every last ounce of happiness from our old life before we embark on a new one.