Of course I was at the water’s edge as the sun was rising, where else would such an obsessive person be when the wind had dropped overnight and the promised big, harsh swells had arrived? I could hear the waves crashing onto the beach from my farm cottage and I’m twenty minutes walk away! But I still have to go down onto the beach to see it for myself. I never just have total faith. There has been a frost overnight so all the grass is frozen. The gates and steps have a thin layer of ice as well, but the sky is clear and blue and the sunshine is warming up the day. It’s great that I have my hiking boots on today so no cold, wet feet!
The ocean in real life is as was forecast. In fact, standing on the beach I couldn’t see past the back of the breaking swells. With my hands tucked into my warm pockets, I stand and ask myself, the ocean, the sky (and anyone else who might be listening) “When?” and “How long?”. I know there won’t be any reply but, right on cue, another massive set of waves slams onto the beach as the tide comes in at a very fast pace. As for me, I’m running backwards up the beach, away from the incoming water and sea foam just as fast as I possibly can! That means only one thing. These waves are not to be played with; they have some serious power in them. I haven’t seen foam for quite a few months. Actually, the last time was back on the Nine Mile beach, when there was so much foam I couldn’t see the sand!
Out of harm’s way, I sat and watched the waves and Mother Nature certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact, I couldn’t see half of the beach because of the the spray and mist from the ocean waves. It’s becoming a bit of a habit just to sit on the beach and watch. A type of painful, personal torture that I seem to have to put myself through to even begin a day of being off the water, even when the wind’s not blowing that much. Perhaps it’s just a personal justification, trying to persuade myself that I’m not just making up excuses. I take a video of the ocean as a reminder to myself of why I’m not paddling on the ocean today.
I wander back home to have breakfast and to get sorted for a drive to Collingwood Area School where I’m going to join Mary in her class. It‘s an extra class put on by the teacher over the holidays to help the kids get all their art projects up to date. Although I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, I’m happy to play with the paints and other stuff. It’s like some sort of mind therapy. I had some ideas and let's say my piece of art is well, a work in progress! Mostly I used the class’s pre-made Maori stencils, such as fern shapes and korus, to make layer upon layer. Funny but true, I found it kind of relaxing. While doing their art, the girls all chattered a lot, while I just zoned out into my own world. A very typical and well-practiced skill of mine. We grabbed some lunch and then, stayed at the school till after 3pm. Of course they had lots more to do but that was their on-going homework. I have to say, I’m surely glad I didn’t opt for art as a school subject because I still don’t have any hidden skills!
We whiz along the roads I now know so well and then go and say “Hi!” to a cute calf called Dorothy, stopping off on the way back to say “Hi!” to Thumper the rabbit who escaped his cage and now resides in the hay barn. I try to locate the new nests of the crazy chickens. But the day is quickly nearing its end, so it’s time to collect some firewood, to drink a hot cup of tea and to read my book by the fireplace.
Over the past few days, I’ve found I’ve needed to step away from my obsessive pressures because they have been and still are driving me nuts. I’ve enjoyed my past couple of days and, as I’ve already said in an earlier Blog, "There’s nothing more I can do", and there still isn’t, so I just have to wait. Do I still smile when someone asks "When do you think you’ll be able to paddle again?" or “It seems calm today”, as we stand looking out over Golden Bay. I have to admit, it gets a little harder each time, hence the reason I often take a video of the ocean. Not only as a reminder to myself but also as a “show and tell” to others. I quite simply have no idea when I’ll be heading North and now, I no longer try to think of anything other than day by day. After all, it has got me this far, so I’ll keep my faith in what has worked up until now.
My smiles today:
My second-hand hiking boots.
My really bad artwork.
Hunting for chickens’ eggs.
Dorothy the calf and Thumper the rabbit.
My thoughts today:
Don't judge my choices without understanding my reasons!
Goodnight from Red. Ma Te Wa.