I am at my desk. It butts up against a wall, with a window, that looks directly onto the fence separating our small townhouse from the neighbour's. A tall hedge peers over the top, its branches watching intently as my fingers hover above the keyboard.
To my right is our TV. Celena has come home after her shift at the library and chosen a playlist from one of the many options on Apple TV. A song by Sia has just finished. Beyond the tv is a narrow window, bisceted by cream slats. Through that window, I can see the six, spinning colours of a whirly-gig. They rotate in the late afternoon breeze - red, green, purple, yellow, orange and blue - dancing to the music of Sean Mendes. "I know I can treat you better than he can..."
At my left, alongside the open laptop, is a pile of books, some writing journals, a set of headphones, a Bible. Disrupting the scene is an open train timetable, listing the many journeys to and from our local station at Wellington Point, to destinations in Brisbane and beyond.
This insight into domesticity is shared because, for too long, I have been unable to appreciate what it means to be home. Last weekend, I was in Hervey Bay for work. Tomorrow, I will be on the road, speaking at several Masses in different locations. My week is filled with appointments, extra-curricular activities such as squash and networking and the commute to and from a place of employment that is fulfilling, but also demanding. This is not a complaint - it is the lot of many of us, as we look to navigate across the waves of work, family and social responsibility, in the ocean of life.
Sometimes, we - or maybe I should avoid the collective pronoun and start to acknowledge the truth for what it is - I need to stop and realise that no amount of running around is going to provide the peace and tranquility I am looking for inside. We - sorry, I - can expend so much energy beyond these windows that I forget that, maybe, just maybe, whatever I'm looking for is here in this room?
In a few hours, some friends will gather for a business meeting. I won't be joining them. Part of me feels a bit sad that won't be the case. But another part of me is glad that I can realise that I don't want to explore the world beyond the windows tonight. I want to watch as the sun sets and those spinning colours fade to black. I want to sip a beer and dance with my wife, to her chosen playlist.
Enjoy your night folks! Regardless of whether you are outside your house, visiting someone else in their's, or staying put, like us, the world, unlike that whirly gig, will keep spinning. The time to step outside the door will come soon enough.