Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

I'm Home

I'm Home

Harri Walter

Year 12, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School

The front wheels of my old Landcruiser drop off the bitumen as it squeaks and shakes, all my gear from boarding school bounces in the back. Unconsciously, I slow down, turn off the music and wind down my window just so I can hear the sound of home for a while.

After the long drive, I feel drowsy but the fresh breeze instantly wakes me. Its April, and the smell of the freshly turned dirt makes me realise how much I really appreciate this place. I appreciate every stone and bump that my worn steering allows me to feel as it finds its way down the familiar path. The tall salmon gums lining the driveway erupt with birdlife as I scare them away with the sound of my car. Just sometimes, I wish the driveway never ended.

As I get closer to home the bark of dogs gets closer and they run to meet me. They run alongside me like the boy at the end of a cross-country race.

 I stop my car beside the house and my lab who seems to get fatter every time I come home whines and shakes with complete excitement while the kelpies mark their smell on the wheels, I have never felt so loved in my life. I pat her and scratch her really just as excited as she is until the side to side shaking of her pelvis slows to a pace she can walk, this whole time mum stands at the gate smiling waiting for her turn to say hello. She gives me a big, long, warm hug and says nothing until it's over. 

As I walk closer I can smell the sweet, rich smell of the roast seeping out the cracks of the old walls and unsealed doors of the house. The squeak of the door as I open it and walk inside has not changed, the warm, safe smells of home instantly make me happy. The sizzling of the roast is too much for me to handle, I open the door and a huge breeze of warm, delicious smelling air fills my face as I reach in and break off a small piece of yummy looking skin. Down the hall, it's colder until I get to my room where mum has had a heater going for me, I look inside just to see if anything has changed, it hasn't, just as I left it.

The sound of the door squeaks again and I hear Dad's boots enter, his woolly beard and large, dirty coat never change. Enthusiastically he yells out and comes to give me hand shake which becomes a hug, he smells like the dirt he has been working in. Soon after the lights of my brothers' cars shine down the driveway, they have come from Perth for the weekend as well. The dogs, just like they did to me make them both feel just as special. They come in and sit down, I can see that now mum is happy, just too see us together makes everything okay for her. It's now that I am really home.