‘It’s time to leave Bali mummy,’ Alula declares as we walk out of Green School gates for the last time ever.
She doesn’t mean literally. We’re not going for another three days but in her infinite wisdom Alula’s hit the nail on the head. It is time to leave. Though the feeling is vague and nagging it is there in all of us. It’s a gut feeling, I guess, driven by a multitude of emotions and thoughts and hopes and dreams.
‘There are some things that I will miss,’ Alula muses, ‘and some things will not be as good in England. But there are some things that will be better.’
Indeed. ‘We are going on a new adventure,’ I say. ‘And it will be hard at times but it will also be really exciting because who knows what great things could come from it.’
Alula nods and I realise that this is the greatest gift of all, forget everything else she’s gained from living here. At eight years old she is learning the power of her own agency – that if a situation doesn’t serve her anymore she can bid it farewell. She’s learning that taking a step into the vast territory of the unknown can be terrifying and that it requires courage and boldness. And at eight years old she’s already discovered those qualities within herself.
I repeat: She’s eight. Not many adults have figured that one out.
And if at eight years old she can summon the bravery to overcome her fears and worries, and if she can happily embrace uncertainty because she knows that within it lies the possibility of achieving outrageous potential, and that that pursuit – the pursuit of your highest dreams and purpose – gives colour and wonder to life, then I can’t wait to see what she’s like in twenty years’ time.