I’ve been home from a year in Warsaw for a week and all I’ve done is sleep peculiar hours and feel displaced. It has taken me all that time to drive my unwilling feet down to the beach, despite all the envy I expressed of other people’s beaches. Why? I want stimulation and I tell myself, as I have many times before, that I’ve seen all there is to see. I finally drag myself out early on a drizzly day, sky vanished in grey sea mist. I ramble around the village, walking up my street, stopping at the viewing seat above Jemison’s Beach and passing judgement on the wooden stairs completed while I was away; walking up the hill to the trig past grazing wallabies and a raindrop-speckled yucca; and then down to the seaweed strewn sand of Potato Point beach.
The tide is low and the colour leached. I see the world through rain-specked glasses, and feel the beach working a bit of preliminary magic. The light is perfect for photography, and clumps of seaweed lie on the sand arranged like artworks on a gallery wall, not so many that it’s overwhelming.
I leave the beach to walk back along the puddly road and encounter the precursors to a festival of fungi.
I amble across Troll Bridge and the grassy kangaroo-lolling patch. One old fellow missing an ear looks up at me from the swamp. I’ve begun to reclaim my southern hemisphere home.