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.
Karen Thorburn said:
My head’s always in a spin after a week away and so I can’t imagine how it would feel after a year. The beach looks beautiful and, despite missing your family in Warsaw, I expect it must feel good to be home. Welcome back!
It’s so strange, even for us, to have you back in this setting! A year is a long time and it’s all a bit disorienting. I like the second post better (I read them the wrong way round 🙂 ) because I can feel you settling in. 🙂
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Lucid Gypsy said:
You didn’t show up in my reader! It must be so strange to be back and I think I understand your slight reluctance to go to the beach. It’s admitting you’re home and not in Poland, it’s wondering if it’s going to feel right and so much more. Well, I love this post and I’m happy to be seeing Potato Point with you 🙂
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I hope I didn’t bully you into coming with me! I’d absolutely hate to lose you in cyberspace.
You are wise. I think you’re absolutely right: it is hard to admit I’m home and to reset the appreciation buttons to bush and beach rather than twins and city.
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Lucid Gypsy said:
Wise? pah! I went to check PP when you said you’d soon be posting from there and it said I was following so I wasn’t worried. Next thing I’ve missed a post and if yo hadn’t said . . .
I too am following (I get the green tick at the bottom of the page) but these posts didn’t show up in the Reader for me either! I might try unfollowing and then following if you know what I mean!
Tish Farrell said:
I’m agreeing with everything Jo and Gilly said. I loved Warsaw. But it’s good to be back at Potato Point.
Great to hea from you again, Margaret – Meg, I must remember. You sure know how to put things together and being a photographer adds to the pleasure of reading it. Can’t help noticing how like your mother you are. I’m sure she would have done similar exploits to what you have done, it she had had the chance. I’m reminded of some of our chats together so long ago now. She was so interested in all you kids did. Tell me – how is Michael going? You’re stretching me – have never done this kind of thing before. I’m just a plain-jane user of the computer – emails tas al. I used to get emails from one of my Huli (Tari PNG Highlands) house girls, but I’m wondering what’s happened to her. One of the Huli-speaking missionaries keeps in touch and he’s continuing to help that tribe with their literacy programme. We’re having weather like I remember in the office at Wasua! I’ve been dripping perspiration just cleaning my fan. Lovely to chat, God bless and love, Valmai
What a surprise to hear from you! How on earth did you find me? Doesn’t suggest a plain-Jane user to me! I’m sure Mum would’ve exceeded my exploits – it all boils down to “given the chance”, and I’ve been incredibly lucky. I’ve read her diary of her trips to New Guinea and to Tasmania, and they put me to shame. I depend on photos, because they’re easier than words.
You’re right about humidity. Not what I was expecting when I arrived back from Polish winter into autumn, and we don’t usually have day after day of it on the south coast.
I’ll email you with family news.