The sea is choppy, the whales have moved on. And summer burst through the open back doors with hot and stinky humid day one weather. Tradesmen and neighbours out of hiding. The old lady, unseen for days and I was just beginning to worry, out on her deck with a hammering, sweeping handyman. A bunch of shirtless young guys the other side, with unsociably loud music and foul mouths, varnishing long planks of timber.
Christmas preparations in the air. Game on!
Three of us sitting around the large, glass covered wooden coffee table silently busy with our devices. Faces lit up digitally. Two siblings and an offspring. Mother, daughter, aunt. Self, child, sister. Unconnected.
Facebook, Instagram, online games… I look up, at the two other faces, and wonder at just how special the fact we exist is. And that we’re here in this room together tonight.
Earlier today I spent an hour on a rectangular shaped plastic covered air block, floating on water and pondering the plants and animals around me. Little grey birds flew so low over me to the grevillea at the left of the pool (left if you’re looking out to sea). I marvelled that we have these plants in our garden that can feed these wonderful creatures. I wondered if they think I’m an intruder in their home and therefore the ‘swoop’… I smiled as I watched them basically dangle upside down while eating, while watching me. I floated closer. They bravely stuck it out. Or was that defiance in their pretty eyes. Grey body, kohl around the yellow eyes. Yellow beak a splash of colour.
The green leaves of some Australian native bushes are closer to grey – these little birds cleverly camouflaged. I blinked and they’d been replaced by one of their flamboyant cousins – beautiful rainbow lorikeet.
Shortest beach holiday in history. Must I leave tomorrow? Must I show myself in the office Friday?
From my bed in the sleepout I hear only the waves breaking – at home I often drift off to a meditation app on my phone, tonight I have one of my favourite sounds live, and up close. Even one day here is enough to lower my shoulders and widen my smile 🙂
smile, breathe and go slowly – thich nhat hanh
What happens when you escape to the beach house?
This is going to sound silly but I was scared to come. I would have stayed at home, in the house, on the couch for three days and spoken to no one. She pushed me and so I’m here.
I’ve had some weird physical feelings the last few days, been stressed at work and about christmas (family – you know it), and it’s a long drive but…then I got here and found it was all anxiety. And it didn’t come with me 🙂
What happens is that I notice things. It was a day of bright bright blue when I arrived and then later the dark and storm rolled in. Heavy clouds. Cooling wind. Birds flapping in all directions. It is all absolutely beautiful.
One of the maintenance guys was parked in the driveway when I arrived so I put my things inside and then went out for a while. I drove around looking at the streets I’d like to live in. I drove down to the beach and bought a coffee and cake. (Yep cake, indulge me!) Then I went a suburb further to discover other architectural gems, only in my future with a lotto win. Sip the coffee, bite the cake. Another beach for horizon photos. A fair amount of bodies in the sun given it’s a week day. A splattering of recent school leavers having a much tamer holiday than those further north.
Bought a lotto ticket.
I even bought some fish and chips for my lunch. It’s a beachie kind of thing to do! I sat at the table and used a fork though…
A very good day. Changed up the routine. Spoke to five people. Saw the resident long lizard, a tiny brush turkey, a couple of cockatoos and a cocktail party of other birds – babbling incoherently, and unrecognisable to me, they kept their distance.
Hey, I’m glad she pushed. I’m happy here.
I am so grateful that there isn’t a tree somewhere that I feel compelled to tie a teddy to. I drove past one today. I drove that colonial bush track to the beach. Escaping my house, my life again, just for a few days. My road to bliss is someone else’s slippery slope to hell.
So I did give pause to think about them, child and grieving parent, but in my own world I’m seeing smiles. Two long, weekend days in the office behind me – two fifths of a course done, and feeling blessed to have met and spent time with the participants. A wealth of Buddhist knowledge floating in the air as I work.
And more joy? I saw an echnida as I started the track! That was a first. Safely navigated the crossing at speed, I’m not sure why I assumed they moved slower than that. Then, I had just arrived at the beach when the young ones called out ‘WHALES’. Second time in my life, second time in two weeks, whales off the balcony. Whale playtime! One behind another mother and child breached over and over and over. An olympic butterfly race from one headland to the other and I had the best seat in the stands. Magic.
I didn’t come to soothe my soul, there’s work to be done, but soothing can’t really be avoided at the seaside, can it.
Even as I wrote that, I suddenly realised that the renovation noise, from both side neighbours, not only wasn’t bothering me – I actually hadn’t noticed it. It’s either that the energy of this house just negates it, or the calm I feel here brings on selective deafness. The same tradies at home would render me senseless with annoyance.
Blue, white, and nature’s green is all the eye sees. I remember a time I felt colour was needed, but today the red and white striped cushion yells unnecessary.
Look beyond the furnishings…through the glass…blue water, horizon, blue sky.
And so here I am, transfixed by the ocean, soothed.
Writing 101 : A room with a view
just a gentle sway
surface sparkles dancing on
finger leaves frame it