Today, out at the west coast, the day was looking promising. As far as the flax is concerned, summer is well advanced, enough to ripen the seed heads and lift them into the sky. They don’t care about the rainy windy episodes that have marked this season.
As I came round a bend in the track, towards the beach, I noticed something unusual. The lagoon was blue. And it looked bigger.
I walked a little further and saw that it had spread the full width of the approach to the beach. This is most unusual. Then I saw a sign announcing a King Tide.
The surf life savers were out in force, for this beach can be dangerous and the rip was pulling strongly today. Most of them are volunteers, fit and plucky teenagers who have saved many a swimmer on the west coast beaches. Encouraged by their watchful presence, I decided to brave the waves and take my first swim of the summer.
As I stood knee high in the cool water, I had second thoughts. ‘This is an early December temperature,’ I said to myself. ‘It’s not an-end-of-January-come-along-in’ sort of day at all.
That’s when I saw it: a big wave bouncing high and rushing towards me. Then I saw the second one, just on its shoulder. And then the third, lifting its head up to get a good view. Now had I been poised with my boogie board, and turned in the other direction, a triple would have been just what I’d been waiting for, patiently, and I’d be all ready for a ride.
But I was just a reluctant, out-of practice swimmer, caught unawares. The next thing I knew I was tumbling over backwards, bouncing against the sand then up and over in the boiling surf. I stood up shakily, knowing that I’d just had my first swim (or was it that my first swim had me?) And it wasn’t so bad.
I waved to the two young life guards who were standing at the water’s edge, to let them know that I didn’t need rescuing, then took another plunge, and another.
Dear reader, I was refreshed, through and through! And invigorated. And proud.
As I walked back along the foaming edge of the lagoon I could feel a surfy feeling tingling inside me from my toes to my ears. Although the wind was a bit cool, I felt warm enough. The happy feeling of summer having arrived was bubbling in my veins.
At the beach cafe, I discovered a new item on the menu: gluten-free blueberry muffins. Usually I avert my head when I see a menu of things I can’t eat, but today I had a treat. As I sat in the shade, eating my muffin that arrived with a slice of orange and a dollop of yoghurt, I felt there was nothing more I could wish for.
Do you ever have a day like this, when everything you’ve been waiting for rolls up, all in one day?Today I had a summer holiday — and it was perfect.