Our 'one year' opportunity to fulfil a dream of living by the sea has given rise to "we can't possibly leave yet, let's stay a little longer". It doesn't make much sense to live in one state and work in another but then again we often end up doing things a little differently.
The weekend was windy and grey. Noosa’s main beach faces north and is one of the few places along the coast protected from the South Easterlies, so that is where we went on Sunday. It also happens to have some pretty good waves a lot of the time. It is one of Colin’s favourite places; we often make the 50 minute drive up the coast so that he can get his surfing fix. We have figured out where the waves are usually reliable, where there is a place to park the car and before we head home where to have a coffee so that you can watch the passing parade along Hastings Street.
And while Colin is immersed in the waves I walk the beach or grab my camera and see what there is to see. Windblown and lined the drying sand is a canvas, passing time, I notice the plants that are spilling onto it and the occasional flower, a bright jewel of colour shouting out her glory. And time passes; we are both absorbed, one in the sea and one on the shore…
When you live by the sea you notice things, different things than in the city. Like how the coastline is in a constant state of change. It is a living thing and stuff moves, like sand, and stuff appears, like seaweed and pumicestone, and stuff disappears, like froth from foaming surf and sand banks that create surf breaks. Rocks are exposed and then hidden, channels created and diverted, the tide takes great chunks from the shoreline and deposits it elsewhere. You see what happens when the wind blows hard, when it is from the South or the East, you see what happens when it rains, when the tide is high, when the swell is low or when the sun shines hot.
And when the swell is up and the tide is high then the sea sends its waves to pound the shore, a raw energy and power that is beyond being contained. I am wary and entranced, drawn inexplicably towards the great heaving mass that defies everything and everyone. It fills me with a sense of ‘aliveness’ and is a relentless and foreboding reminder that we are small and inconsequential in the scheme of things.
Last night we farewelled Rachel watching her walk through customs on her way to a four month backpacking adventure around Europe. The previous six months of hard work finally culminating in her living a dream. Our excitement for her slightly tempered by sadness at our own loss and the typical parental worry of having an absent and globe trotting child. As Colin called her name one last time to wave and take another photo on his iPhone (groan, Dad you’re so embarrassing) I watched with pride and some trepidation as our ‘little ray of Sunshine’ set out to explore the big wide world.
The previous night we all had dinner together one last time in our family home. Rachel and Heidi, along with some friends have lived at Temuka Ave this last year while we have been in Caloundra. With Rachel’s departure and Heidi and Alex ready to set up a place of their own, the house which has been home for over 20 years will be no longer. We will rent it out and the house that has borne witness to the growing up of our family will bear witness to other families now. We have a little time and a lot of work before that happens but the transition is in process. Another kind of sadness and trepidation.
On the way back to the airport car park last night Johanna sad somewhat sadly, “the kids are all moving on and I’m the only one left behind” And they are all moving on, Zac and Jan happy and busy in their own place, heading off for a weekend get away, Heidi and Alex just beginning their working lives and happily anticipating setting up their own place and Rachel setting off for a big adventure, the future bright but unknown. Our children have become adults along the way and we are so proud of the wonderful people they have become.
We have all left home now. It is a strange feeling, sad for what is lost but happy for what is yet to become and so very thankful for both. And so very thankful for one last child that is not yet an adult and that will be with us for a little while longer. One goodbye that we can put off for the time being…
I went to the movies today, on my own. I usually only go a few times a year and always with others. So one of the things I decided to do this year was to go more often – our local cinema only costs seven bucks fifty (we get a discount through our apartment block saving us from having to pay a whole $9!) and it is within walking distance. So no more, “oh I wanted to see that” At first it felt a bit weird to go on my own, then it was just plain weird. Now it could have had something to do with the movie (Philomena) and the time (11.40am), or maybe it was pensioner day but honestly I was the only person there under 60! I lined up with all the seniors thinking this is way weird. It was a nice orderly line. No pushing and shoving to get good seats. Actually it was a very sedate, slow amble in. The lighting was dim and the floor a little uneven so the seniors were taking it pretty slow, resting their hands on the backs of seats as they dawdled in. There was even a spot up the back to park your walking frame. There were very polite excuse me’s as people filed past and there were no mobiles ringing, in fact the lady behind me told her friend that another friend of hers couldn’t use a mobile anymore – “she can’t see properly and her fingers don’t work so good” There was not a solitary bucket of popcorn or oversized coke, no slurping and no crinkling papers and packets. And when we left not even a single yellow corn kernel could be seen, not on a seat or on the floor. I got the giggles waiting for the movie to start (immature youngster that I am) surrounded by this sea of greying and balding heads.
I enjoyed the movie but next week I’m going on a different day and a different time just to see if anyone under 60 goes to the movies up here during daylight hours!