The leaves in our forest are falling at an astonishing rate,
it feels like they are timing out our last weeks in Germany.
By the time the last leaf has blended in with the earth and Autumn has well and truly
become Winter, we will be on our way home to an Australian Summer.
Mixed seasons, mixed emotions, the forest tells us that time is moving along.
Excited to be moving home to Australia, yet sad to leave Germany and Europe on our doorstep.
Every expat knows the tearing of the heartstrings when it is time to move on,
"see ya later" parties, so many "last times" to come on our horizon.
I dread that last walk in our forest, last time we go on a local adventure, last day spent with friends.
We have had our last Spring, Summer and most of our last Autumn and
we won't see the end of our last Winter.
The "To Do" list seems to get longer rather than shorter, the bureaucracy of two Government Departments on opposite sides of the planet ensure getting our dog home is not a
"walk in the forest". Shipping contracts finally signed, school enrolments both ending and beginning.
Exactly two years ago we were in the process of finding schools and a home in Germany,
working through visas and paperwork, now we find ourselves organising our departure.
As the forest becomes bare, so does our home as furniture is sold off.
Life is being pared back, ready for new beginnings.
Our girls were children when we left and now will return as young women.
After living in China, England and Germany I think repatriation may be the most difficult of all.
Along with all the arrangements involved with finishing up and moving on we will make the most of our time left. We have Christmas Markets to visit, friends to adventure with, places to discover.
By the time the last leaf in our forest has fallen, all of our arrangements should be in place.
Eight weeks today we land "back home", Perth has changed, we have changed.
Will we fit in at home, or we feel out of place like the bright red leaf on the forest floor?
As the sun sets on our time as expats we will look forward with both excitement and trepidation.
One thing is for certain, the next few months will be one hell of a roller coaster ride,
lets hope we all jump off smiling!