The human impact on our environment on Earth has concerned me since I can remember. The issue was first raised in my family when I was six years old in 1973. I remember this vividly because of the car free sundays introduced by the Danish government in response to the oil cricis. Car free sundays from november to february meant no driving. I recall the excitement of walking through the abundant snow with my brother to the baker for breakfast rolls, playing out the scenes of Laura Ingall Wilder’s Little House on the Prarie that our mum was reading to us.
It has been a week now. A whole week since we came home from Copenhagen. Home to our two gorgeous sons, our familiar house, our green garden, our neighbourhood in our suburb in Brisbane.
It was a good time to leave Copenhagen. October was mild and full of sunshine, blue skies, red ivy blazing on old brick buildings, brown chestnuts falling into the lakes and green treetops fading to yellow to brown. You would still see the odd person in shorts and singlet in the sunshine on Dronning Louises Bro. Granted, the sight was much rarer than in spring, when the Danes seemed to strip at the slightest ray of sunshine. But November was, well, rather Northern European November-like: Colder, wetter, grayer, windier, darker. Not quite cold enough for snow, not quite warm enough for comfort: just that miserable in-between. And our tenancy was up. Yes, it was time to leave.
And again there is reason to celebrate: On the eve of my return to Australia, I have regained my birthright and am again a Danish citizen.
Those of you who have followed my blog will know that I have longed for being recognised again as Danish, after losing my Danish citizenship when I became an Australian.
As the human population becomes increasingly mobile in a global world, more people will experience feeling home in two or more cultures or places. This can create a deep personal split, but can also be a source of immense strength. After my sabbatical year in Denmark, I am sure I belong as much in my native Denmark as I do in Australia, though I am still waiting for return of my Danish citizenship after making my application on 1 September and must still stand in the longer non-EU passport lines when entering the country.