From the bush to the beach. Not quite any beach … a beach amongst the forest. Literally where the trees meet the waves. Magnificent, humbling nature.
We’ve decided to make our way to France. So an overnight wild camp on this glorious beach. We haven’t grown tired of Spain it just feels like time. Time to spend a few days in one spot, get some hair cuts (one less job to do before school starts), enjoy some macaroons and a pain au chocolat. Or my ultimate favourite – the almond croissant. Miam. All with the feeling that we don’t have too far to return home. Home, there’s that word again. :)
It was special to wake on the coast and take the opportunity to go for a swim. I woke a tad grumpy but as soon as my bare feet walked along the weathered wooden path towards the beach I felt home. (I went back later for this shot, a moment in time I want to remember). Home in myself. It’s strange isn’t it what makes us feel home. I imagine a lot of it has to do with our childhood. Familiar feelings, sounds, surroundings, imagination. A beach path in Spain holds the same kind of familiarity and comfort as a beach path in Phillip Island or Anglesea. Two spots with great meaning for me.
Although the home feeling we create is built across our lifespan for me there always it seems to be a connection to childhood, to who I am and where I come from. Maybe that’s how we find our peace, connect back with that little person we once were. Definitely little person for me, teenage years aaargh. I think (know) perhaps my grumpiness this morning has something to do with the chemistry of my body in this time in my life … and it also may explain the feelings of invisibility and lack of confidence I’ve felt in the past year and the slowed metabolism.
Today I remembered something about myself. I know how to make things happen. When I was 12 I went to a jamboree in Indonesia. I made dolls clothes for cabbage patch kids to sell at markets to raise money for that trip. When I was 19 I’d just completed a travel and tourism course. I decided I’d quite like to work in QLD so I literally send a resume by post to every hotel and resort in the phone book! I subsequently spent three years living in the Whitsundays. In my 20s I completed a semester of my degree in another state organising my own teaching rounds which was unheard of at the time. I rowed in the first female surfboard crew for Torquay life saving club. In my 30’s I did a midwifery degree over five years and had two of my four babies. I only ever did 1 week of night duty and I successfully obtained a part time grad year in order not to compromise my desire to keep the kids home as babies (also almost unheard of). In my 40s we said no to following a linear path and found our way towards an adventure that would bring us here. I hiked 800kms along the camino this year and with incredible help and generous support sent 28 girls in Africa to school.
Yes I know how to make things happen, albeit slowly and in the form of change. We all do! Sometimes we forget where we’ve been and how long and fruitful life is. It’s something we can do at any age isn’t it – recognise how incredible the ride has been. I must remind myself sometimes about my own strength because none of those things have come without determination and self reliance and not by compromising my values. It has taken choices, decisions, risk, patience and knowing what I need to let go of (and letting it go). If I take the time to consider the ‘how’ I’ve found my way it’s been without noise or hustle. Yes knowing how those words affect my personality and ‘way of being’ are important in living peacefully, in moving without self imposing stress and barriers. So howdy to you – new challenge of finding something for myself in The Netherlands. I’m on to you.
There’s no one who can make things happen for me, just me. Life has afforded me fortune, support and luck and naturally there are also stories of heartbreak, trauma and tragedy. Life. As I walk my way along this sandy path feeling home in myself, I think what a gift it is to have created myself some space to ‘be’ to ‘try’ and of the camino, always the camino.
The guide she gave me to stay on course, to see my own way through. Step by step. With simplicity and trust because if we remain present by feeling and looking close the reasons are ALWAYS evident. She reminded me that my spirit is optimistic and I really am too old to start indulging pessimism in my life. And that JOY and laughter are awesome!
I read a Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart. A beautiful memoir of his family’s life on their Andalusian mountain farm in the South of Spain. Easy to read and a wonderful escape into a life lived with purpose. Colorful characters too.
Question? To cut my hair for the new season and transition … I’m mostly yes! And then as I sit here in my saltwater curls (current moment) I’m not sure.
Buen Camino and if your still here thanks for indulging my rambles. Indulgent and not always articulate but they serve their purpose as I continue this love of writing myself forward.
Nearly forgot. Solo’ing. Yes solo’ing. If you need time out take it and give it to your partner … park up where the kids can play. The beach is awesome but vigilance is always needed so take time in easier locations and read that book, go for that hike, wander down the street, drink a coffee or two on you own. Heck have a wine … that’s what they do here in Spain and France. But not indulgently just for the pleasure, that’s one of the differences between Australia and these Mediterranean counties. It’s a great tragedy that’s affecting our quality of life, indulgence over enough. In my humble opinion.