I’ve been reading Wallace J Nichols’ BLUE MIND (the science of just how awesome water is and makes us). I’d saved it for a recent road trip on Australia’s Eastern seaboard; the ‘Aussie must do’ of a New Year, up in Byron Bay. I went to see the slow fade out of its hippy charm. Washed over by a wave of mainstream. We tried to pay tribute to the colorful past with our tie-die hats and tanks. It felt like it worked. Then we passed another chain store.
But this sketch isn’t about Byron. It’s about the 2,400km, 7 day journey.
A gem in the road was Crescent Head, a welcome swim-stop on the winding way back. It still retained aspects of the past, with a hypnotic swell of surfers circling in on malibu longboards. And a gourmet burger selection in the udpated, chalky pastel bricked hole-in-the wall surf takeaway. A quinoa burger? When did this happen?
I went walking. Away from the families and surfers and full capacity town. I passed standing fishermen and dogtracks in the wet sand. Shells which had not been collected. Shells which I hoped would return back into the waters. And back I went. Away from the waters. Onto the road. One of the last sandy summers for me, as I move to smoother seas.
Like the moon on a car drive home as a kid, this place will follow me.