Last Day

Rain closes the curtain on the horizon

Soft dove grey meets gunmetal glimmer

Tepid taps on already wet shoulders

Saturated hair

Fresh water mingles with salt

Another wave breaks, and I sink into shifting sand far beneath the surface

Lost temporarily in the noisy crashing silence

Rising I breathe moisture

Floating, tumbling foam drifts through my hands

I want to stay here forever

But I will be all here, all in, while I am

*Awareness. Walking barefoot on hot footpaths. The feel of the sun beating on my shoulders. Slipping into the cold ocean. Delicious food. The exertion of exercise. Getting stronger and fitter every day, even whilst the soreness of yesterdays fun sighs in memory within my muscles. My skin turning brown in the mirror, eyes sparkling. Who is this creature? I like her.

I’ve been boogie boarding like an addict since my husband gifted me a really good board for Christmas.

Our boys had boogie boards when they were kids, we would spend ages dragging them out and letting them fly in the waves. But I had never had the time to concentrate and ride on one myself. Oh my God it is so much fun!

Late in the afternoon, when people gather to drink wine and sweating beers on the shore and in high rise apartments, I wander down to the beach and into the water. The boogie board is thrown down before tumbling waves, where it rockets me into the shore. I ride it in, pick it up and hike back out into the ocean whilst the sun sinks low and the sky turns apricot. Lucky for the change in the sky, lucky, because I lose all track of time.

Early in the morning after my run, sweat still slinking down my spine, into the water I go. Backward and forth, into the waves – rocketing in and out and back again, time stretching like a horizon I never reach. Until I stop. So very hard to stop, to come in, walk back up the hill and into the house, back into time as measured in the human world. At night I can feel the waves rocketing away beneath the board. I probably smile in my sleep. I probably snore too, such is my bone weary, sun washed tiredness.

Our holiday is coming to a close but this time I can say, every moment, I was here, I was really here and present for it.

I gave up social media last year, so I have no idea what our wider friendship and familial circle is doing – it’s a nice calm blank – where usually I would be caught up in thoughts of others.

And the disaster of Covid and Australia’s lack of planning, the media hysteria and case counting, had me switching off the news soon after Christmas. We have lived in a bubble of blissful ignorance unlike any I’ve known on many other holidays.

I’ve been trying to stay right here, in this moment and it’s been extremely freeing. Why do we let so much crap invade our minds and thoughts anyway? I’ve been carefully editing, discarding, pulling myself out of the future and extricating my thoughts from the past and wrestling them back to this moment, this feeling of primordial untethering.

It’s a feeling I want to take home with me. I’ll try and remember to pack it tomorrow as we leave because truly, we really only have this minute and in this minute – life is boundless and ours to claim, use as we wish and savour.

Header photo courtesy Karl Fredrickson Unsplash.

8 thoughts on “Last Day

  1. Sigh. My vision has become too bad to do anything without my glasses on. Wave sports are off limits. I unplugged once for a week vacation (except writing) and it was really quite blissful. Maybe I should make it a point to do that again. So envious of your summer weather. It’s full-on winter here with icy roads and bitter winds.

    • I sympathise with your winter conditions, the beach is pretty perfect but once we get home it will be 10 – 15 degrees hotter and that is scorching 🥵- not looking forward to that heat at all.

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