Riding across from the island this morning on the ferry I was struck (as I often am) with the beauty of the place where I live. The sea was glistening, the air was crisp - but not cold - and the golden light of early morning revealed the gullies and crags of the surrounding landscape. I sat on the upper deck- alone - and viewed the world as if I were a tourist.
This brought to mind the many times I have been a tourist on boats. The ferry to Madeline Island off the northern coast of Wisconsin in my beloved Lake Superior - the car ferry to Bainbridge Island across Puget Sound from Seattle - sightseeing on Milford Sound in New Zealand - funny old rusty ships to the Greek Islands when I was a child and car ferries across the English Channel on the same trip - canal boats in Amsterdam - a cruise ship sailing into Cape Town - for that matter the first time I rode the ferry to Magnetic Island back in the mid 1980's when I was young, fit and invincible... What beautiful sights I have seen from the water!
It is a long love affair, this relationship with the water... I rode a ferry across Sydney Harbour to school for 7 years and I always loved it. The relaxation of a leisurely trip across the water releases the tensions of the day and creates a separation between home and the outside world. This afternoon on the ferry I enjoyed a lively and cheerful conversation with a woman a barely know and another I have never been introduced to, as we pulled up to the wharf on the island I saw TLOML's ex, who always makes me smile, poking his tongue out out me because I had failed to see him sooner. There is no one who could have mistaken the genuine pleasure that showed on my face when I saw him. He is a wonderful guy and I really like him! TLOML was there to pick me up in Shermie, with both the dogs wagging their tails and happy to see me. We went right to the beach and walked for a while as the last of the daylight faded from the sky. It's not bad living on an island in paradise, especially not when the rest of Australia is suffering through a chilly winter and I am warm on a beach in shirts-sleeves at dusk.
The ex of TLOML (P) brings me to another point... Now I have never been a man hater, a separatist, or in any way anti-men (after all I do have a son!) but as a general rule, throughout my adult life, I have not really made friends with all that many men. I have a very close friend in Minnesota, a gay guy I used to work with, but other than him most of my friends have always been women. Here things are different. In all my life I have never met so many men who I REALLY REALLY like! This place is full of beautiful, gentle, men. Three of my favourites have the same name (P) LOL and quite frankly there is another P, who I don't know very well, but who I really like too! Up until moving here I would really have only counted The Best Friend's hubby, The Optimist, and The Actress's hubby, The Percussionist, among my favourite people - men were very poorly represented! This is no longer the case. Now I know that the rest of the good guys were hiding up here!
OK gang - Day Two is done - only one to go (of my stint over at the University)... I think I can... I think I can... I know that the ride on the ferry adds time to my long and tiring days... but there is something else that it adds which more than makes up for the deficit... It gives me a boost to the spirit and a lift to the heart.
But I am very glad to be home.