Every year I’m asked how I’d like to spend my birthday.
Heavens’ knows why because it’s an unbroken tradition that I go to Maria Island for the day with my husband.
Spontaneity: Noun – a way of behaving in which you do what feels natural and good whenever you want, rather than planning things first. (Cambridge English Dictionary
Husband woke me this morning with a weather report. To be precise, a coastal waters report and the winds seemed God-given for my sort of day on the water.
As I continue to write Passage, I have discovered a number of questions that could only be answered by hiking up the Bishop and Clerk track on Maria Island.
OH and myself decided to catch the ferry today, do the climb and also grab the ranger and ask a few leading questions about retrieving injured hikers from the track, using walking, UTV’s or helicopter rescue.
OH and I are by no means bushwalkers.
We have a level of suppleness and fitness but we both have ‘issues’ – me with balance and a bad foot. He with permanent breathing problems and issues from his accident last year.
Today we tested ourselves.
‘The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.’
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Life sometimes makes me anxious.
I’m sure it makes everyone anxious. But the one place I feel content, free and at peace is in, on or by the sea. I wish Mum was still alive so that I could ask her how old I was when I was introduced to the sea.
When did I learn to swim? My memories go back to a time when I could swim and dive, perhaps I was six. After that, the memories come thick and fast…
Time out, time away, time to breathe…
I have a personal tradition that I try to celebrate every birthday on Maria Island, not far from where we live. I’ve been doing it for years and have visited the island too many times to count. Not just for birthdays but for any boating day during the year. It has a unique air, an island away from an island. The days are always enchanted and enchanting.
This was one such.
Earlier this year, I was asked to join a panel of authors to discuss exploring stories beyond our national boundaries and why we chose to write about times and places far from Australasia.
I’d never really navel-gazed about my predilection for twelfth century Europe. To me, it just was. When I wrote about Venice, Lyon or Constantinople, bells rang – sounds ranging from soft tintinnabulation to reverberating tocsins, and that was all that was required.
Sometimes life is for escaping from.
Sometimes it’s for escaping to.
Today was the latter…
Very early this morning, the men decided to go fishing and being totally uninterested in the hunter-gatherer thing, I asked if they could drop me at Maria Island.
It’s a phrase a dear friend used when he and I stood on Long Point at Maria Island, on a day just like this.
Our respective families were not far from us, having fun, swimming, fishing, looking at life through a sea-lens. The day was perfection. He put his arm across my shoulder, and with his other arm, swept it grandly to indicate the Mercury Passage and Maria Island.
He grinned as if he was sharing a secret and said, ‘Where else in the world?’