“I don’t know where this is… it’s the place in my head that I keep returning to. There’s an old black jetty on the beach… old and permeated with the years-old oily smells of countless bales of wool… old and slowly decaying. It’s still strong though. I walk along to the very end and sit with my feet dangling over the edge. A myriad of rainbow colours sparkle in the water as reef fish come up to investigate my toes. The water is deep, but it’s so clean that I can clearly see small fish darting amongst the brightly coloured coral at the bottom. As I sit and peer into the depths I notice several crabs jostling for a spot on the carcass of a half-eaten Parrot Fish.
Soon I realise I have to leave. I stand up and turn to walk back along the jetty. The mountains tower into my view… ever beautiful… ever majestic. The beach is long and curved out to my right, white sand that starts at the edge of the rainforest and ends well below the waves. Dolphins frolic offshore, whales are regular annual visitors and dotted along the white sand are little treasures such as shells and starfish. I stoop and pick up a piece of driftwood that takes my eye… I’ll sand and carve that into something beautiful one day.
The forest above the beach is rich and lush, sheltered by a semi-circle of mountains and supporting a wide range of animal life. A well-worn path disappears into the rainforest, and the birds twitter a welcome as they see me step into the darkness. Within ten paces I lose sight of the sky. Huge towering trees paint swathes and splotches of every shade of green above me, but the floor of the forest is smooth and clear, covered in a carpet of leaves and the occasional cycad or fern.
A fifteen minute hike up the range brings me to a waterfall that spills down into a series of cool, clear ponds. I’ll go down later for a swim… I need to wash my hair. Another five minutes’ walking, and the path widens. The foliage around me thins out again and I pause at the doorway from the forest to let my eyes adjust to the sunlight…
And there is my house. It’s a small wooden structure with a roof made of raw redwood logs, and big open windows with shutters held up by sturdy support logs. The house is situated in the middle of a hand-cut clearing in the forest and is surrounded by well-tended gardens containing fruit and vegetables to eat and herbs for good health. As I walk across the clearing sweet scents of honeysuckle and night jasmine tickle my nose. A coup housing ducks and chickens is to my left, and there are at least 6 dogs running at my heels. The cat is inside doing her job of chasing mice and rats (or else she’s sleeping in my favourite chair).
A family of possums live in the trees nearby and chatter excitedly as they see me. I stop at a series of large feeding platforms half way across the clearing and divide up the fruit, flowers and grass seeds that I collected on the walk up the path. Within seconds a cheeky baby possum darts up and leaps onto the platform to snatch some ripe mango before his brother can. A few seconds later a dozen or more birds glide noisily down to claim their share of the spoils. Tree Kangaroos and Rock Wallabies are regular visitors and are often seen around the edges of the clearing nibbling on the tender new grass shoots. Some raise their heads as we approach, some snort a greeting… but none hop away. The dogs don’t bother them any more. They are used to the ‘other’ family members of our tribe and show them all due respect by ignoring them completely.
Each day I rise as the early morning light is breaking over the horizon and take the short walk up to the cliff. The She Oaks whisper to me as the morning breeze gently stirs their branches. I reach up and pluck a few needles, and breathe deeply as I crush them in my hands… I love that smell… so clean and pure and natural.
At the end of the path, and very close to the cliff is an old fallen giant, the perfect size to sit on comfortably. I sit and run my hands over the wood and realise that it’s now almost worn smooth from these morning visits. I gaze out across the waves… the sun is almost there, but not quite.
Down on the beach, rocks that have tumbled off the cliff for many milennia now lay in a haphazard and stunningly beautiful black and brown jumble at the edge of the water. The rockpools trap marine life as the tide drops, and when a big fish finds itself trapped there it’s promptly speared and taken home for dinner. I can see a large flash of silver down there now… mmm… tuna tonight.
As I’m thinking about how I will prepare this luscious meal, I gaze down at my old black jetty. How many times had I seen that very jetty with the eyes in my dreams? How often had I wondered how to find it? Who led me here… or what? I don’t know, but I don’t care either. I’m here now and that’s all that matters to me. I smile that most beautiful and serene smile that has only become a part of me since I saw my jetty with my real eyes. I knew instantly. I knew then that this place was special. I feel that there is more peace in this one place than in all of the rest of the world combined… and I know now that I’m home.
I turn and gaze at the person sitting next to me. His eyes shine with the light of the rising sun, and he’s smiling as he watches the turtles gliding below the waves. “I love you,” I whisper, and nuzzle into his neck as the first rays of the sun paint red and gold streaks into the waves. “I love you too,” he replies as he gently kisses my hair. Yes… I know I am home.
Later we walk back to the house hand in hand, to collect the fresh eggs and fruit that will be our breakfast. We feed and water the animals before we go inside, because if we don’t they complain… loudly. In our meagre kitchen, he cooks omelettes on our old wood stove, and I begin to prepare some fruit, juice and coffee. I catch his eye and he winks, then smiles in that cheeky way that I’ve always loved. My heart leaps and my tears begin to well before I blink them away with a smile of my own. Thus begins another day in paradise.
Our own paradise… My Old Black Jetty."
A short piece of writing inspired by a sketch I did… or perhaps more acurately, a pencil sketch accompanied by a piece of writing, both of which were inspired by the dream…
Core [C.O.R.E] group – 31 Aug 2010