After 20 years, I am sad to say that I do not have a solid, beautiful, or strong memory of celebrating Australia Day. And I don’t think I am alone, because for many of us, we don’t know what it means, other than a holiday in the middle of the first week of school. After living in a different culture I have come to realize what it really means to come together to celebrate, and share moments with those who you dearly love. For example, my New Years, have been rather uneventful throughout my life, in fact, until last year, I had actually come to believe that New Years, was a waste of money, time and energy and most years, I would retire to my bed by 10PM, disillusioned with the festivities. However, the last two New Years I have spent with my beloved fiancée and I have come to learn that it is a very special time. This year, Massiel and I made a very special dinner, cooked on our home made wood fire barbeque, accompanied by a special Australian dessert. We ate as close as we could to midnight, as part of Chilean custom and then as the hour approached, we counted down and as the clock struck twelve, we held each other close, not with a joyful and fun, meaningless hug, but with an embrace that would say, ‘Welcome to this year, I love you and I will stay with you whatever this year will bring.’ We prayed over each other and we gave each other our best wishes. With tears in our eyes, we stood in that embrace, until the time came to dance. And we did.
So with this new chapter of our lives that we are venturing into together, it has become important to me, that we treasure these special days, like Australia Day. Although we may not be in Australia, I can proudly say, that this has been the best Australia Day of my life. Why? Because of the missing ingredient... Love.