I love the ocean.
Sometimes it reflects my moods.
Some days I wake up and it’s moody and sombre. And other times the sky is red and the sun is rising and the ocean is flat and it’s a beautiful day. Like the weather is saying “snap out of it mate”.
That’s how the world looked a few mornings ago. The ocean was clean and glassy, reflecting shimmering pinks and oranges as the sun rose.
But the calm doesn’t last.
Michael is away this week so it’s just me and the boys and by 8am all three of us are bouncing off the walls. Both kids are crying, there’s a mug of tea splashed across the kitchen floor and every single sock, lego man, pen lid (very concerning when you can’t find the actual pen…..) in our house, perhaps in the whole neighbourhood, is scattered across the living room floor.
“Right” I think, grabbing a bag and filling it with sunscreen, snacks, water and hats. I put the boys in the car. Hakavai requests his pacifier, then his yellow giraffe, his Benny car, his – I draw the line and say “NO!” and buckle him in. He cries.
Then Rahiti’s face scrunches up and he’s wailing too.
I vroom out of the driveway, and hit play on the white noise playlist that accompanies our trips. Fifteen minutes later, Rahiti is asleep and Hakavai is calm. It’s peaceful again.
We arrive at our secret spot. I stop the car, the kids jolt out of their vehicle induced coma, and cry.
I put Rahiti in the baby carrier, thread my arms through the backpack, unclip Hakavai and totter down to the beach like a packhorse on vacation.
We dump our stuff and head for the sandy rocks. It’s gritty underfoot as we crouch down to find tiny fish in their rock pooled homes. Hakavai uses his toy fish catching net that we bought at the pet shop (the one across the road from the pie shop).
He doesn’t catch anything – it entertains him and frustrates him in equal measures.
We find stubby legged starfish, strands of Neptune’s necklace, see swift crabs hiding in the crevices, touch anemone with our feet and see them rapidly crinkle up.
It’s warming up. I put Rahiti down and strip off, grateful for the sun for warming my shoulders and the rock pools we sit in.
Later, when the kids are asleep in bed, and the moon has replaced the sun in the sky, I pour myself a glass of wine and look out at the ocean. It’s not flat anymore. It’s rough and choppy, a big swell coming in.
I can’t know what it will look like tomorrow, so I will savour it right now, in this moment.
And I reckon that’s a pretty good way to live.
PS – I’m big on savouring. I suspect it is one of the coveted corner pieces in most happiness puzzles. So, I talk more about it inside my new book Happy. You can get yourself a little copy right here.
PPS – Love getting these letters from me? Share this one with a mate! And if they like what they read, well, they can join the gang too.