My Dear Alter Ego,
In another life I aspire to significant wealth – not to be wasteful or extravagant, but for the richness of choice.
In my childhood and teenage years I was fortunate to have parents who believed in a good education. My grandfather died when he was 9 so my father had to work his way through architecture the hard way. He was the eldest male in the family and he took on that responsibility.
My late husband’s father was a small farmer in Tasmania who died leaving behind a mother with five children. His uncle helped that family survive financially as he was a relatively wealthy barrister in Launceston.
That is why, dear Alter Ego, that I wish to be wealthy to have the great richness of choice that monetary wealth can bring to build on the wealth of learning and experience I have had. That is what I now miss -being stripped of well thought out assets, choices become restricted. I would love the choice of paying for my grandchildren’s secondary and, in part, tertiary education – just two of them so not an enormous amount. Not that their parents cannot or will not. I would like the choice to offer opportunity. To give them the choices that good education provides, should they wish. Early signs are good – they would grasp opportunities presented, or make them if not.
And then I would buy back my farm, and the one across the road that already has the mature garden but no sea. Rolling, productive paddocks complimenting my thousand acres of better trees protecting lambs and calves as they are born. The shearing shed was adequate on my farm nestling below the house and entry to it from the road below the house. And yards easy to use, safe and shaded.
That done I wish to be able to build from scratch a well-designed open, beautiful house – one that would be welcoming, full of controlled sunlight in winter and screened in lacy green in the fierce heat of summer – with vistas to the sea. I could leave it to my family who I know have the same aspirations, dreams.
Here I would build that house with a large fireplace and hearth surrounded by a generous mantelpiece and before it, soft squashy couch and comfortable armchair to sit and read and write beside a wide window with a deep window seat clothed in French linen.
Celia Waldron is a Hepburn resident and a member of the Daylesford U3A Writers’ Circle.