A moment of stillness in the day.
For each sunrise, I feel totally blessed.
Linking to bushboy‘s “last photo.”
My Journey Towards Retirement by the Sea
A moment of stillness in the day.
For each sunrise, I feel totally blessed.
Linking to bushboy‘s “last photo.”
When you are in the midst of your working life, the morning can be rushed.
Not so, in retirement.
I delight in a stroll towards the lake at sunrise, watching for the old man fish Sir Mullet, jumping high above the water.
To show off his physical prowess like a maritime body builder or as a way to energize himself for the day’s forage feast for food.
On the banks and weedy littoral zone, algae trails dance rhythmically with the tidal ebb and flow of the waters. Always moving, always dynamic.
Meanwhile, triggered by the sun’s first rays, the Willy Wagtail frolicks and flits back and forth up and around on the grassy lawn, in a courtship dance sure to impress a mate.
Me with my dogs alongside of me, skirt the lake’s perimeter, soaking in the natural forces of sun, earth and wind about me.
This place energizes me, urging me to rise with the light and optimistic for the day ahead. Something not felt in my previous chapter.
A meditative time for newly retired me.
I did remind the friendly seagull that he would do better to rely on fresh fish than our takeaway lunch meal. But he wanted a chip.
The famous meme of a seagull offering the beached whale a chip went viral years ago. If you haven’t seen it, take a look:
Chips or chip, in the singular form, is the Australian equivalent of French Fries.
How do you refer to a singular, chip in America? Is it a “fry?”
How does an America say, ” Hey bro, do you want a fry?
The gull had several from our lunch of fish and chips and flew away satisfied with a crop of cholesterol.
The envy of his flock.
The morning sun rising over water can be one of the most invigorating feelings for the spirit and the body. Stimulating, within us, a bundle of potential energy to begin our day.
Sunrise is a time to bear witness to the opening of the universe’s portal to eternity. Untouchable and surreal.
When the sun breaks over the low, scudding clouds that persistently hang on the horizon, we are blessed with a fleeting splendour of golden rays that nourish in our spirit endless possibilities.
After hours of restful slumber, being present and mindful during a sunrise brings feelings of anticipation and promise: a myriad of potentials for a day we have yet to explore.
The amazing thing, about where I live, is the experience of both sunrise and sunset over the water. This is the beauty of living on a peninsula, with sea water on three sides.
The evening light show that Mother nature provides, is more often subdued than her morning counterpart.
More mellow, the tones of sunset can be at times be ever so thrilling, so excitable you cannot look away, lest the magic of what you are seeing, disappears.
Mostly laid back energy, the sunset is evocative of our time to chill out, to prepare for the evening and its accompanying slower pace. The light show nature lays out for us in a glorious sunset such as this, changes from a deep luminescent orange and gold, to a deep purple and hot pink.
The artist that is our Mother Nature is the consummate colour harmonizer. Sunset colours blend seamlessly. She never gets it wrong!
Life at my Home by the Sea is always satisfying.
Reaffirming something I have been waiting my whole life to experience.
I breathe a deep breath of satisfaction.
Right now on Cresting the Hill, you will find my post as guest blogger for Leanne’s MIDLIFE SYMPHONY series.
In this series, bloggers discuss what we are doing to make the second half of life the best half of life. Arguably, the best years of your life?
My house move to the Home by the Sea turned into a better than expected lifestyle change just the way I had dreamt of it. Read more about my sea change.
When the sun set on another Mother’s Day, I thought more about what is important to me and what I am grateful for. My kids are now all adults so gifts are unimportant and somewhat redundant.
Is Mothering itself a gift?
Why do we give gifts on Mother’s day?
I had to question hard the motivation behind this tradition and ask why we continue to give gifts as a social convention, in an affluent society.
A visit to or from family is more and more a tradition on Mothers day.
It has become even more of a social event this year as the lifting of Covid restrictions coincided with weekend of Mother’s Day.
Is the spirit of Mother’s Day encapsulated in a friendly smile or gesture from a family member, friend or neighbour?
It might be one or all of those things, but the most important thing is to feel healthy and content on mind and spirit.
Gifts then, do seem redundant and more of a symbol than a necessary purchase.
I am blessed that I have had a comfortable life. This is not to say I have not been without quite a bit of heartache, bad luck or troubles in my life and despite these matters, I cannot say that I have not been comfortable, for the most part.
In hindsight, many of my problems are just inconveniences or issues that must be solved, or persevered with, until they sort. I have been lucky, and pushed through until the sadness passed to find resilience and maintain hope.
I have hope.
I have freedom.
I have achieved certain goals and have new challenges ahead that I am enthusiastic about.
I have job satisfaction. I have a job and income, although for how long is never guaranteed, anymore, especially at my age. For that, I am grateful. Work can be a privilege we might take for granted.
I have the bountiful emotional returns of raising children, with all its fatigue, responsibilities and worries, but moreover, the joys and pride of raising three little people on this planet.
I got to travel to some pretty special places and spend times with many different people from all over the world.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn a language other than English.
I was lucky enough to be in a postiion to design a beautiful home and live by the sea.
This was my morning view.
How can one not feel in awe of nature’s magnificence?
I have a home and family.
And this is the place where I chose to spend this year’s Mother’s Day and the rest of my life.
Getting up early to go walking in summer, brings you some delightful surprises. And let’s face it, it is SO much cooler when you live in the sub-tropics. It is also a time when the animals are more active, as they too struggle in the heat and like to rest when the sun is high.
Like this family herd of Kangaroos. You won’t see any around at noon, as they will be resting in the shadows, but go walking early morning and you will see them, enjoying the free grass shoots that emerged with the recent god given rains.
Perhaps you will join me on this walk as we take a glimpse into Australian fauna.
The gorgeous roos were making the most of the recent rains and although you cannot see them in the photo, One mum has a baby, called a joey, which we have often seen at the newly created and yet to be used, sporting fields at theend of a nearby road. The roos seem to be co-existing well with the encroaching development. Let us hope it stays that way.
“One man’s trash can be another’s treasure.”
The rain gives happiness to animals and people alike. For me, rainfall and cooler days are invigorating. After years of drought, and months of never ending bushfires, the rainfall last week of showers and the occasional thunderstorm is so glorious in all its wetness! Truly manner from heaven. The drought may not be over but the grass and plants respond.
I often think about that disconnect between feelings about rain. The folks in the Northern hemisphere have had enough of it and down here we crave it more and more. There never seems to be enough, for all of Australia, or if there is, it comes down in bucketloads, far too much for us and our fragile land to absorb.
Do you get how we feel about rain in Australia?
The ducks and swans frolick in the overflowing pond, and yes, our feet get muddy.
Yet it is this lifegiving substance the earth needs to rejuvenate, to heal, for water is the essence of life.
With blue sky as far as the eye could see in the other direction, I turned and headed back home. By the lakeside, I was greeted by the local birds. They were really happy too. Except perhaps, the baby galah!
He was probably pretty hungry by the sound of his raucous call.
Along with all the other walkers around the globe, Jo’s Monday walks inspire me to share a little of my home by the sea with others around the globe.
Have a wonderful week. I plan to do so.
Every day my daily walk takes me to the lake, usually with the resident Schnauzer in tow.
It is a beautiful walk and the developer and Council maintain the street and pathways to a high standard. They want to sell the remaining blocks of vacant land, I guess.
What is very disappointing is that, each and every day, I find some plastic washed up by the shore of the lake.
Each day, I hope to find a clean and clear shoreline. Predominantly, I find plastic wrap for packs of single use plastic water bottles and plastic packets for food floating on the water or washed up on the rocks.
Each day, I remove this plastic and dispose of it in the rubbish bin; it’s just a few steps away.
In this small corner of the world, on just one corner of the lake’s shoreline, I am removing 2 – 10 pieces of plastic rubbish each and every day. So, let’s put that in a global context:
“Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.” (EACH YEAR!)https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/
Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them.
Single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Many of these products, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, have a lifespan of mere minutes to hours, yet they may persist in the environment for hundreds of years.
Some plastic contain additives to make them stronger and in doing so, extends their life meaning they will take up to 400 years to break down. At the rate plastic is being produced, we will be drowning in plastic, in 400 years.
We urgently need to reduce or eliminate our use of plastic.
I will be keeping a count of the days without plastic.
In Japan, I never saw a single item of rubbish in the streets. The Japanese are very conscious of taking their own rubbish away with them.
If the Japanese can do it with their mega population, we can do it too.
Let’s change the culture of plastic reliance everywhere!
Update: Linking to Debbie’s One Word Sunday Plastic post
Would you like to come for a walk along the beach with my dog and me?
I like to be up early in the morning. It is a magic time down on the beach. This is the entry to the beach at Redcliffe, Australia.
As you might have suspected, it is called Redcliffe for the red colour of its cliffs. Unfortunately, they are not really visible at this point and we’re walking in the other direction today.
Are you okay to negotiate the stairs?
This part of the beach is popular with shore fisherman. The gentlemen on the right had just caught a stingray after the photo was taken. He then cut off the hook and kicked the stingray back into the water with his bare foot. The ray seemed fine with its ordeal, as it swam enthusiastically away. I suppose its take away from the experience was a small breakfast of fisherman’s bait.
Some of the houses, fronting the shore, have magnificent views towards the ocean, although some are showing their age. They may be weathered and beaten by the elements but are still standing strong, much like most of the trees.
Until that is, the Council might decide the tree must be cut down.
I am unsure of the reason for the lopping of this tree as it was massive. I recall it being a Moreton Bay Fig, which blogger Margaret mentioned just the other day. One major concern is the stability of the bank, once the roots are removed.
I love that some of the staircases are equipped for bicycles, or kayaks on wheels. Not that I would be riding down there. It looks far too steep for my skills.
I continued on for another 500 metres or so.
The recent summer storms have taken a toll on this old cottonwood tree. I think the Council will try to salvage this one.
The walk along the beachfront here is special becuase there’s a fantastic feature tree further along that forms a Tree Tunnel. This is the first time I have ever seen a warning sign saying: Beware – Low Tree Branches.
Watch your head as you walk underneath.
It is low.
I had to bend my head down and my husband says I am part ‘Hobbit’.
At this point, we decided to turn back to our starting destination exiting back through the tree ‘cave.’
The perfect frame for the distant container ship on the horizon. The water between Redcliffe and Moreton Island forms a major shipping lane to the port of Brisbane.
We took a detour on the way back inorder to check out a nice cafe we spotted on the way up. After all, isn’t it a tradition of Jo’s Walks that the walk ends with cake?
History buffs might want to pay attention to this part of the walk. The smaller rock to the left is a piece of the ruins of the Abbey at Whitby, England. Whitby was the home of Captain James Cook, the first Englishman to chart the East Coast of Australia. The larger rock commemorates Captain Cook’s Journey past this point, way back, in 1770.
From this point, maintaining a southerly direction will find you at a Sunday Market adjacent to a long cafe and shopping street complete with modern pier and jetty, where you will find many more fisherman.
Here is what it looked like in years gone by:
The town’s name originates from “Red Cliff Point” named by the explorer Matthew Flinders, referring to the red cliffs at Woody Point.Redcliffe was originally the site of the first penal colony in Queensland. It was discarded when the colony moved further inland and slowly it evolved as a small seaside retreat north of Brisbane until the construction of the Hornibrook bridge which linked Brighton, an outer Brisbane suburb, to the Redcliffe peninsula.http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/redcliffe-qld
Now, I am hungry. Where IS that cake?
Catch you next time at
The wind in your hair, the smell of salt water in one’s nostrils, and the laid back lifestyle. That is what we think of we most of us think of living at the beach.
Four weeks ago, we moved to a home by the sea, after more than 35 years living in the suburbs but that wasn’t the original plan.
After selling the house my husband had built with his own hands, we went looking for a minimalist low maintenance lifestyle close to family and friends. We were, for quite some time, set on re-locating to a townhouse in the inner city and having a weekend flat at the beach. The Minimalist Inner city lifestyle. Close to restaurants, all kinds of services and facilities and unfortunately, the sort of place, workers and commuters all love to live. So it is busy, too busy for us now that we are nearing retirement and the quieter lifestyle that provides.
Sometimes, the universe intervenes. We searched and searched to find the right townhouse for us. It wasn’t there. Or, if it was, someone else got there first and outbid us. I must admit we had a contract on another, but it didn’t feel right and there were problems so the contract was terminated. We decided the townhouse hipster lifestyle wasn’t for us. All the time, the universe was sending us here, to the sea, where we wanted to be.
The adult kids moved out, as there was no way that they were going to live up near the beach, some 20 kms away from the trappings of work, friends and the inner city lifestyle.
So it is quite a change – a sea change to move in to the house we have been designing and building for the last year.
There have been frustrating times, and some problems along the way, but overall the building process was a lot of fun. And we made it. Yay!
The Moving process, of course, is not at all fun. Most of our old furniture didn’t fit into a townhouse – so we disposed of it. We had so many boxes packed away in storage, and a lot of new boxes for the new furniture. They all had to be unpacked and removed.
But that is all behind us now. The boxes have been recycled, the packing materials dumped and we settling into our new routine.
The Universe was right, and we were lucky to find the right piece of land, negotiated with a builder at the right time and voila, now our house is our home.
Now we are ensconced in our new house and we are happy. We’ve met many new neighbours, many in the same stage of life as us, and travelling to work hasn’t even taken near as long as I thought.
The MOTH is busy with little tasks around the house, and happy again, and the Schnauzer is thrilled she has a yard to play in once more.
Would I build a house again from scratch? Yes, most definitely.
Would I move again? No, definitely not.
So here we stay! We are putting down roots.
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