Last week, on the 20th of December, we were meant to leave Sydney at nine a.m. We’d been planning to take this trip for eleven years; we’d been packing up for the last six days.
After loading up the camper trailer, throwing out stuff we didn’t need, putting every last item into storage and cleaning up for the tenants, we pulled out of the drive at twelve minutes past five in the evening.
Obviously, we didn’t make it to where I’d booked our first camp site, four hours down the coast. We pulled into a caravan park in Bulli, just north of Wollongong.
The girls, who’d been waiting all day while we cleaned, were desperate to get out. Lee set up the camper trailer, while I took them down to the beach. We kicked off our shoes and ran–I think all three of us felt the same sense of absolute freedom. We ran and ran, in and out of waves. The girls got their clothes wet. I didn’t tell them off.
I wish I could capture that feeling, bottle it and bring it out from time to time when all of life’s constraints and miseries—meetings with difficult people, a stack of papers to mark, the crying child I can’t console—begin to overwhelm the soul.