All my life I have drawn a graphic of a triangle with loops on the end. I’ve done it as a child, a young woman, a middle-aged woman and now in my crone years. I have drawn this graphic on paper, in the air and it’s turned up as an image in my mind I don’t know how many times.
And now I recognise the meaning, the hairs are standing up on my head and arms, and I know I’ve come home.
Since I arrived in Cyprus, I’ve changed my moniker to Aphrodite Rising. It sprang out of nowhere (a bit like Aphrodite springing from nowhere when she popped up from the seas all of a sudden), and seemed just, well, perfect. Today I started work on producing my next Constant Contact newsletter and I fished through my artwork until I found a painting created in Traralgon, Victoria, in 2006. I remembered doing it, but not much about the detail. Until I uploaded it onto the newsletter. And then I sat staring blankly at the screen.
Here it is:
As you can see, the graphic stands out, I was compelled to add it when I was painting around the blue glass triangle with various rocks and seashells around it, but looking at it now I realised it’s a stylised “A”. For Aphrodite. Aphrodite has been calling me all my life and finally here I am!
Interestingly, the original image was obscured by netting, but in Bowraville (on the mid-north coast of New South Wales) where I lived after moving from Traralgon, I felt the need to rip off the netting, almost as if Aphrodite was calling to me, the artwork needed to be clearer and not obscured, and the message was getting louder.
And I have to be honest, Cyprus is the last place to which I ever thought I’d volunteer to move. Why? My husband has raved on about this island ever since we met, so much so that on occasions I’ve given serious consideration to nuking the damned place. It drove me nutso. He even had a clear dream while we were living in Queensland of walking down the streets of Famagusta, with a white dove flying beside him, BUT the streets were modern, not the streets of his childhood days and when he served in Cyprus with the British Army in the late ‘fifties. My good friend, Yvonne, reckoned that Bryan had left a piece of his soul in Cyprus and I think she’s right. But it wasn’t my soul, at least, not until I got here.
The day we moved into Bowraville I came very close to the Pearly Gates. I don’t know if they waved me away or whether I tripped at the entrance. Be that as it may, I had heatstroke with a BP of 220 over 160 and a heartbeat of 40. The ambulance officers thought I’d have a massive stroke and die before we reached the hospital. Mercifully they stabilised me and here I still am, one tough old bird. But it did concentrate our minds about where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives. My husband’s three children live in the UK, we have friends in the UK, and we really felt we wanted to live closer but couldn’t handle the British climate and the country’s high cost of living.
Then one day, out of the blue, I suddenly said: “Why don’t we move to Cyprus?” I must admit, I nearly fell of the sofa when these words popped out. And Bryan said “Good idea” before I had a chance to hoover the words back into my great big gob. But it sort of felt right. So we did our homework, decided on North Cyprus as it’s not in the Eurozone and has a lower cost of living than South Cyprus. It’s not as developed but that sort of thing doesn’t both us in the least.
So last June we put our home up for sale. We both operate on the basis that, when the right seller comes along, the house will sell and all will be well wherever we are heading. The house sold in December. We found a young couple, setting up home with not much money, who bought the whole house contents, paying us enough to cover the cost of our fares to Perth. They were grateful. We were delighted to empty the house in one fell swoop the weekend before we moved out. The big bugbear was our Subaru Outback. But lo and behold, a couple of weeks before we moved, a guy rocked in who bought the car for cash and, not only that, left it with us until the weekend we moved out to help us save on car rental. You can’t get much better than that, can you?
When we arrived in North Cyprus, we were met at Larnaca Airport by a lovely bloke who took us around and then told us his friend was selling his Land Rover, in good nick, with a gearbox still under warranty as it had had to be replaced recently (memo: don’t go into reverse while your Land Rover is going forward as it wrecks the gearbox!), so we bought that for $6000. And we have found a lovely unit, with a very helpful, friendly seller and we are hoping to move in around the time our 33 boxes turn up from Australia in Famagusta. If we aren’t able to move in by then, the seller is happy to store them in our new home until their departure is finalised.
And now I’ve fished out that painting created five or so years ago and now I understand why I felt the need to add the stylised “A’s” surrounding the island in the middle, and why I am now here in Cyprus and feeling so much at home. It’s whacky, eccentric and a bit like living in the Wild West. It has a serious commitment to timelessness (as per when my husband asked a cafe owner when she closed and she simply spread her hands out and said: “When we have no more customers”), and the people are friendly, cheery and incredibly helpful and kind.
I have come home to Aphrodite and I am at peace. I no longer need to keep drawing the stylised “A” graphic in my mind, because it has become part of my being. At long last!