Oz 14-107It is with mixed emotions we celebrate Thanksgiving today.

We have a lot to be thankful for: each other; family and friends in close vicinity; job, house, material needs fulfilled; an opportunity to spoil ourselves and others with loads of great food. This is our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, and the first in our new home region of Greater Copenhagen. We live in a home with plenty of room for occasions such as this, and I’m looking forward to tonight’s festivities.

On the other hand, I look back to last year’s first and only Thanksgiving in Sydney. And this very week, my parents have left Australia for good, moving east to the U.S., the home of Thanksgiving. While this will give me a chance to return once again to my childhood home and doubtlessly bring countless new experiences, I’m leaving a big part of my heart down under.

A year ago, we were thankful for the good experience of coming to Oz to live, and for good friends that we were able to spend time with. And with eight visits over the course of nine years, Australia has given me much more than just an accent. It has been my home away from home, a source of constant joy, an always-welcome refuge, an endless summer, a wide new world, a spring of inspiration, and a never-ending dream.

Australia was where I proposed to my wife, and where we did much of our wedding planning. And especially this time of year, with Denmark turning dark and cold and wet, my heart wanders south. To a place which, in one sense, is no more. But in another, it still lingers. We are not done with Australia. The dream never dies, but more than that, we will return – somehow, someday.

My parents may have moved on, but – to quote Peter Allen – I still call Australia home.


Author: Kenneth Mollerup Birch

Living north of Copenhagen, Denmark. MA in Information Science. Interests include communication, internet, sociology, language, politics, religion, theology, travel, music, and food.

2 thoughts on “Gratitude”

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