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Leaving Scooter Canyon

  • 28 February 2023
On Sunday afternoons, we’ll often head outside. We live in a townhouse where our garage, and the garages of about twenty other three-story townhouses, back on to a long communal concrete driveway. Our kids get their scooters out and tear around out there and other neighbourhood kids join in and their voices echo like they’re racing around at the bottom of a canyon.

This is something we did during Covid lockdowns and we got to know the neighbours that way. We would bump into other little families and strangers soon turned into good friends. During the infamous Maribyrnong lockdowns – we were, proudly, home to several Covid breakouts and had a few extra weeks under lock and key – the neighbours became a vital part of our lives. Lockdowns forced everyone back into their local communities.

Now we have various neighbour WhatsApp groups that enable local residents to function as a sort of hivemind. One person knows something, everyone knows. And this is largely owing to the kids zooming around the driveway, the scooter canyon.

But we got word a few weeks ago that we got approval for a new place. We’re moving house. Moving makes you take stock of your life. It gives you a renewed awareness of things about to be lost, and a renewed gladness these things existed in the first place.

I’ve moved house about a dozen times around this city to all different directions on the compass and I’ve never particularly relished the process. The moving process is always about 50 per cent more difficult and uncomfortable than you imagine it will be, but then there’s everything beyond that: the task of deciphering a new area. There’s meeting new neighbours, finding nearby parks and shops, and finding where everything is in the new supermarket, discovering whether there’s a good local pizza joint or anywhere to get a decent coffee. Settling in, I suppose you’d call it.

There’s been a range of conflicting emotions as we consider benefits to moving alongside a range of subtle losses. On one hand, we are excited about the new place, new opportunities and experiences. On the other hand, we have a sense of loss as we leave behind familiar surroundings and people. And that’s the case with every genuine improvement or change: something gained is something lost.


'With each step forward, or even with no step at all, we leave something behind.'  

A question I’ve been thinking