I’ll always remember rushing down to Mrs. Macquarie’s Point on my first night. I was scared that I would miss the sunset as the sky was quickening from pink to orange. Faster and faster I walked…until you were in front of me. The magnificent Opera House and the Harbour Bridge painted against a backdrop of colors that don’t normally belong in the sky. Simply the perfect shades of pink, orange and gold that no camera lens could ever capture. It was spectacular – the waves were crashing against the rocks and my breath caught in my throat. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with such an intense feeling of appreciation and amazement for this world – and that was the moment I fell in love with you.
You made heart feel as bright as the sun in your sky. I remember sitting in Hyde Park one day listening to a man with a guitar singing What a Wonderful World. It is a wonderful world, isn’t it? It’s wonderful how people hold hands when they love someone and it’s wonderful how I could see the fish swimming in the sea at Darling Harbour. It’s wonderful how flags wave in the wind and how old people are still in love after all those years and how standing beside the ocean can make you feel so small yet so big at the same time. And it was wonderful to be in Sydney, Australia and see people so happy. To see their faces aglow with sunlight in April and see them run and laugh and kiss each other; to know that the world is a magical place and that I was lucky enough to witness its magic.
From the golden sands of your beaches to your stunning mountains to the sophistication and elegance of your city life, you put summer back into my heart. You are the city that has culture bursting out of every museum and art gallery and theatre. You are the city that is constantly moving with the thousand footsteps of joggers striving to be better, faster and stronger. And when I dressed up in my red dress and wandered down to see Aida on the Harbour, I felt like how Cinderella must have felt before going to the ball. There was such a sense of magic in the air and the promise that wonderful things were going to happen.
I think I could have sat on the steps of the Museum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks forever, looking at the Opera House with the water glistening like a glass of champagne. It was my favorite spot to sit; to watch life happening before my eyes and to know that I was part of it. Sometimes in life we feel out of place or that we don’t belong – but I know with my whole heart that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Sydney, you were wonderful, beautiful and bright. Thank you for being you.