Today we went for a walk out at Kurnell, an ocean and bay suburb of Sydney and where Captain Cook landed, discovering Australia. It is a gorgeous place but quite confused, almost psychotic. It has million dollar homes next to ramshackle, old, original beach homes. It has views of the city next to views of the busy port and Caltex Refinery next to ocean views. It has beautiful parks leading up to the salt water desalination plant. Planes almost land on your head, so close it is to the airport. It has a lovely new coffee shop and the old village corner shop (which sold very poor coffee and a twice cold frittata….still cold after the second re-heating….goodness me). It has rolling surf and Botany Bay. It can’t seem to make up its mind….perhaps not surprising given its history. We ended up at Point Solander, where whale watching occurs, though it’s not the season now, it was still a beautiful view from high above the ocean. The walk follows pathways, grassed areas, rock platforms with threatening ocean waves, metal stairs, carved sandstone stairs, bush tracks and roads…..so again, a psychotic type walk with many personalities.
There was a great deal of beauty in the walk as the day was perfect and spring’s flowers were everywhere. There was also that moment where the universe speaks. As we passed an old fisherman, my hubby asked how he’d gone. His reply, “Only caught enough for dinner but the more important point is I had a great time just being there and fishing”. So he summed up how joy occurs…by just being in the moment, doing what you love, having no expectation of outcome and being grateful for the experience. God bless that fisherman and his wisdom. If humanity can stop measuring success by outcome and results and find its joy in the moment, all of life will improve. As Doris Lessing said in a slightly different way:
“All of sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.” This is a note about the simple joy of simple connection to all of life, of being in the moment.
Being in the moment meant enjoying the change each moment offered and suspending judgement. As planes flew overhead and suspended conversation, it asked of you to enjoy the scenery rather than the momentary noise. As we walked along the magnificent ancient rock platforms, we needed to remember the original land owners who lived in this beautiful place, until white man landed. As the waves crashed over the path we were taking, we had to suspend our walk until the ocean momentarily retreated, leaving us time to scurry to the next point of safety. I was challenged to suspend judgement of the putrid coffee and cold food and embrace how lucky I was to be with my husband and sister and to have any food to eat, when so many go without. I felt such awe and aliveness and connection with all of it, all the changes, all the good, bad and ugly bits because isn’t this the sum total of life?
I return to the fisherman, who did not judge the success of his day by his catch but rather by the enjoyment of the act of fishing by the ocean, the joy of being alive.
Below I have captured some beautiful moments, not of Kurnell because I didn’t carry my camera that day but of other places in Sydney. Hope you enjoy the pictures and I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for visiting. Live well. Leanne