Although she ended up living in Western Australia she was a grown woman and married and had her own pregnancies to deal with — all eight of them! My dad and my aunts and uncles proved to be — shall we say —distracting. It was not until she was in her seventies that she had the chance, finally, to walk the streets of Albany. It did not disappoint her. It was a long and winding road between her dream and its fulfilment. For women it often is! Tillie Olson wrote a whole book on it called Silences.
Take me, for example. I wrote my first poem when I was eight years old. (That’s me, not long after, praying for further inspiration!) It didn’t help. I also spent decades living with a deferred dream. And I didn’t even have the excuse of needing time out for pregnancy and childrearing. I wasn’t lazy, mind. I worked. I travelled, I cared for family and friends. All good things in themselves. I wrote around the edges of my life, in the left over bits of time. It wasn’t until I witnessed my own mother’s slow slide into dementia that my old dream woke up and howled at me – if not, now – then when? So I resigned my full time position as my 50th birthday present to myself – and leapt into the unknown.