“We need the tonic of wildness…We can never have enough of nature.”
Henry David Thoreau
This weekend Bear and I loaded up the car with much excitement to head to the Gold Coast for a full day of running errands and a bit of fun.
We got 30 minutes down the road before realizing we’d forgotten the NavSat – essential to our day of gallivanting hither and thither in parts unknown. Grrr. So back we went, picked it up, plugged it in and were on our way.
90 minutes later the low battery warning came on and upon pulling out the plug discovered that the end was missing (how on earth???). Grrr. Thankfully I had my phone with me so I hastily pulled it out and attempted to navigate Bear through the maze of construction blocked streets.
Alas, my phone chose this time to blank the screen every 8 seconds leading to conversations that went something like this: “OK, babe, take your next left…no, bugger, just a sec, wait, wait, OK, yeah, take the next left. Uh, yeah, that one we just passed, hold on, wait, wait, oh bugger!”
Somehow we managed to find an electronics store and popped inside to get a replacement cable. But of course they only just stopped making that version and it would cost $?? to find a new one and they didn’t actually carry them anymore and didn’t have any in stock and really, it would only be a bit more to just buy a new NavSat. Grrr.
Ten minutes later we bustled out with new NavSat in tow, got to the car, and continued on our way.
By this time, as you can imagine, nerves were frayed, tempers rattled, and our blissful jaunt to the coast was a mere memory.
But then a few things happened that restored our rumpled spirits and got our jolly day out back on track.
Really, is there anything more restorative than a good meal? I think not.
We got an outside table at one of our favorite Gold Coast haunts: Milan on Main. The weather was exquisite, a balmy 78 degrees F with cool breezes and brilliant sunshine, and as we sipped our freshly squeezed strawberry, passion fruit, and watermelon juices and soaked up all that delicious fresh air, the mayhem of the morning began to dissipate.
By the time our food arrived we were in downright good spirits and could start to laugh about the gong-show we’d just experienced. We visited in between mouthfuls of poached eggs and smoked salmon, savory sausages and roasted tomatoes, crispy hashbrowns and delectable sauces.
Any lingering vexations disappeared completely when we arrived at Main Beach after brunch.
Although I’ve loved every Aussie beach I’ve visited thus far – from Coolangatta to Bribie Island – Main Beach will always have a special place in my heart because it’s the first Aussie beach I visited when I moved to Australia.
It’s also where Bear and I had our first date, the place where I knew that this bloke was the one for me.
Kicking off our shoes we trudged down the sandy slope to the beach and found a spot with ample scope for people watching and more than enough room to stretch out and snooze in the sun.
I confess I had been nervous about going to the beach so soon after being ill for so long. My poor ol’ body isn’t back to fighting strength yet and it shows. But I gave myself a good talking to and reminded myself that me and my wobbly bits have as much right to bask in sunlight and turquoise water as the svelte young things next to me, and I wasn’t going to let one more happy opportunity pass me by while I waited to be skinny enough, pretty enough, enough enough!!
And I’m so glad I didn’t.
Learning anew to see myself with love filled me with love for the parade of bodies I saw around me – the gorgeous old ladies with wrinkly everything, positively beaming as they played in the water with their grandchildren, splendid pot-bellied men spending hours building sandcastles with their kids, muffin topped young moms flirting with their husbands, lithe teenagers doubled over in laughter as they posed for pictures and chased each other through the waves.
It made me so happy to be part of the human race and wish I could tell each person there how beautiful they are, no matter what.
We had a wonderful time, laughing with a neighbor when he nearly decapitated me with his rogue kite, grinning at children shrieking as they ran away from the waves, closing our eyes and snoozing happily as the sun soaked into our bones and melted away the stress of our journey.
It was just what we needed.
We returned home with our first tan lines of the season, clothes full of sand, and happy sighs every time we thought of the beach.
It was a wonderful day after all.
Where’s the last beautiful place you went to relax?