Oceans never stop their joyous surge, constantly breathing in and out. Their excitement levels peak and trough and their rolling rumbles can burst through the fabric of any tent to create a sea-lullaby that sends all to sleep at night.
Children continue to swim and surf, sprays of moisture and salt continue to waft up onto the warm sand. It's the same sand that was probably here last time we visited this seaside cove and that continually washes up with a myriad of shells, observing the time that goes by.
Basking seaweed sometimes lingers, as do koalas in manna gums on the foreshore above our tents. If you’re lucky, you can watch them during their daily hour or two of wake time as they stretch for succulent leaves to chew on and lift a limber back leg up to scratch an ear. They jump from tree to tree and climb up and down in surprising agility before cuddling back into a fork of a branch to snooze for the day. Then at night, they can wake again with pig-like grunts that can rupture past the ocean’s lullabies.
Yet although little changes, some things do. Setting up tents in record time with five sets of hands instead of one and a half, where the missing half is chasing little mites, is a welcome surprise. These young mites of years ago now walk to the general store to buy bags of ice for the eskies to keep food and drinks cool. They cook bacon and eggs for breakfast and wash dishes at the communal camp kitchen. They’re the ones now that instigate walks over rock pools and find the star fish, abalone and crabs that we once did.
They swim in shorts in a haze of sea spray on days when laying on sand can be so comforting that staying awake is nearly impossible, or they surf in wetsuits when nature’s water sprinklers and air conditioners suddenly switch on and puffs of dull, lilac-grey clouds merge with the ocean horizon. They decide when to swim and in what without any help, allowing me to write on my sometimes water-confettied paper and absorb their delight.
Oh how I love those sudden sprinkles of rain. They revitalise the bush and I breathe deep to suck in as much freshness and eucalypt as I can, never gaining enough and always wanting more and more like an addicted FAF, which in my younger years was a ‘fresh air freak’.
Now, the intimate sharing of fun on camp is different. Not better, or worse.
As the oceans of change continue and ever evolve, I can’t wait for more unfolding adventures in my next time out.