Some thoughts on coming back to Australia after nine months travelling…
It’s morning, and the beach is quiet. A photographer and I are the only human life to be seen or heard. She’s taking pictures of the old pier. My pictures are all stored in my head.
Wind blowing the light sand, looking like fine plumes of water as they skim across the harder packed surface. Not a single sheet, or a wave but ripples and wavelets – patterns like ragged lace.
Now and then it swirls or eddies but mostly it moves in long rapid sweeps. Sometimes you really can see the wind.
A cormorant waddles ashore, stretching and flapping its wings to dry them. The smaller seagulls give him a wide berth. It’s a lazy time of day for them. The picnickers aren’t out yet and the dawn fishermen have gone, their scraps already consumed by the early birds.
Twenty or so birds – terns and gulls alike huddled into themselves against the wind.
It’s a little chilly perhaps, but not cold. Not cold like some of the places I’ll travel to.
Places further than even those gulls will fly.
I’ve walked on cobblestone streets and icy roads. I’ve seen ancient cities and modern metropolises. Stood in deserts and under trees that were a thousand years old. Wandered into grand cathedrals and straw huts.
Now I’m sailing on an ocean on the other side of the world from the beach and the old pier.
But it’s all coming back to me.
I’m coming back to it.