The advantage of having been sleepless lately is that waking up before 5am to get to the Dawn Service for Anzac Day was much easier.
I had this strong desire to be there, and I walked through darkness to get to Georges Heights, in Mosman.
If I was in an unsafe place I would have been afraid when I heard running behind me of multiple pairs of legs; but looking back this mother and small boy informed me ‘the alarm didn’t go off’ and ran ahead.
We got there in time, the service was just starting, permeated by the smell of sausage sizzle and the gentle frying sound that my mind kept sending me as images of waterfalls.
The morning singing birds reminded me of the time when I arrived in beautiful Sydney, fourteen years ago, they bring an unnamed tightness to my chest of love, longing, adventure.
The service was beautiful, and the part that I loved the most was a very simple letter from a soldier who wrote it to the father of his fallen friend. I cried, those words that crossed oceans and time made their way to us, to remind us of the sense of loss and love.
I have strong feelings against war, but warm feelings towards people, families, and soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice for a greater cause.
When the speaker told us of this land that receives so many peoples from over the seas, I felt welcomed and warm in the Australian embrace.
The sunrise wasn’t as spectacular today, but the moment was of beauty and sadness and happiness to be here. I felt my bond to this land deepening, even more.
On my way home I saw a lot of flashing lights, police cars, one of them making a bus reverse out of the main road, as if it was a cowboy herding a stubborn bull.
I was privileged to wave to the diggers coming through in a long motorcade of mini-buses and taxis, all white haired, dressed to impress and the word that came to my mind was that they were beautiful.
I got home under a light shower, filled with the sense of belonging, adventure and safety.