Today started out like any other day, well any other day for us I should say. But, I suppose our days aren’t really what most would consider normal. There’s no morning rush to get ready for school and work, because there is no school or work anymore. There’s no more watching the clock, or even the calendar, and there aren’t really any rules any more either. But for us, the day started out quite normal, breakfast, feeding chickens, playing, and reading, and social networking to keep Our Global Adventure ticking along.
Simon wanted to go to the local post office to see if some camera filters he’d ordered had arrived, and I wanted to pick up a few staples at the local store. We had vaguely discussed going for a quick trip at some stage to do these very ordinary errands, but Spring had other ideas in store for us today. A tiny joey, taking its first solo trip out of Mamma Wallaby’s pouch caught our attention not far from the house. We all crept out into the bright morning sunshine to witness Spring’s wonder, and our day took the most delightful turn.
A warm breeze was blowing, the bees were buzzing and the sun felt wonderful on our skin, mmmmm this was a day that was meant to be spent outside! “Instead of just going to the store, how about we go a bit further to Bermagui today? It’s a nice day to play on the beach” I suggested to Simon and the kids. So there you have it, at 10am on a Wednesday morning, our family made a decision to go to the beach – today. We got dressed, packed a lunch, filled our water bottles and after stopping at the Post Office, we drove to the nearby beach of Bermagui.
At the top of the hill, over the sea at Bermagui there is a whale watching platform and some nearby picnic tables. I imagine it would be an extremely popular spot in summer, because there is also a tidal pool beneath the rocky outcrop. We fended off the seagulls and ate our sandwiches, all the while keeping an eye on the ocean, hoping to spot some whales making their way south. As luck would have it, we were treated to a couple of water spouts, and the flip of a tail from two humpback whales a little way off the shore. This was shaping up to be a good day indeed.
Our children both love swimming, and they adore the sea, so whilst it was still a bit chilly in the tidal pool to swim today, they begged to go down to dip their toes in the pool. 77 steps down the stairs (Oscar counted them) and the kids and I were dreaming of hot summer days and that blue, blue water. (It’s true, the ocean on the Sapphire Coast in New South Wales really is the prettiest shade of blue). The most amazing thing about the tidal pool at Bermagui isn’t just that it looks like a great place to cool down, it’s that it is alive. There are fish and crabs, anemone, sea snails, oysters and star fish right there in the pool. It is literally alive.
The tidal pool is basically a rock pool that has been enclosed with a wall, it is filled with fresh sea water on high tide. Surrounding the tidal pool are several natural rock pools equally teeming with sea life. Today we spent hours exploring the rock pools. The kids held starfish, touched anemone, squealed when the crabs were close and even ate oysters freshly shucked from the rocks, (although Oscar wasn’t much of fan, Lucy thought they were OK). Hours and hours of playing, learning, climbing, exploring and trying new things, all on a Wednesday afternoon.
And that’s when it hit me. That was the moment that I realised that we are truly free. More free than we ever were in the past, and maybe even more than we will be in the future. Right now, we have no work or school commitments, nowhere to be, no deadlines or time constraints. We. Are. Free. And even though I know a day will come when Simon or I will need to take up paid work again (no, we don’t have a money tree) I hope we will always find a way to be free to spend hours playing with our kids on a Wednesday afternoon.