On my first morning in Oz I woke up at 6am following a fitful but exhaustive sleep, head clogged with Jetlag.
I contemplated closing my eyes again, before concluding that getting up was probably the quickest way to bring my brain back to functionality. So I wandered around the house in the quietness of early morning before trailing to the beach in my running gear.
I know it’s not the first thought most people would have, but it is what it is.
The sand was cool on my bare feet, the morning muggy but not yet too warm, the air full. It wasn’t a picture perfect scene by any means. Sunrise had brought forth a grey pallor, the hot disk of the sun hidden by a coating of clouds, the sea a slate of grey.
Despite the early hour there was plenty happening. Dogs on early morning walks chased sticks and leapt exuberantly into the water, a pair of horses waded belly-deep and two men floated in the depths chatting in broad Aussie accents. The ocean was flat and still with tiny waves that caressed the shore as birds hovered serenely above.
My back wasn’t complaining but I kept my pace slow, my footfalls light, running up past the pier to investigate if our resident seal was still lazily sleeping on the shore. Seems he had awoken early too, the beach empty, only thin barricades waving lightly in the breeze marking his usual resting place. As I turned, wind pushed through my hair, cooling where sweat had collected. I could feel the coarseness of the sand on my feet and knew it would be creating new callouses – it had been a long time since my last barefoot run. I ran along the waters’ edge on the way back, salty water flicking cooly up around my ankles.
Most people would probably say that meditating, lying in bed or sitting outside with a cup of coffee was the best way to relax and reenergise in the morning. For me it’s this – feet pacing one in front of the other, head clearing.
At 40 minutes I was back at the beginning. And I waded into the water, as I had done so many times before. And the chill cooled my muscles.
The salt air went into my lungs, out again, filled me with contentment.
And I thought to myself – am I the luckiest girl in the world?
It’s not always easy to maintain that feeling – the ups and downs of life can bring you down, make you forget the many great things you do have.
But on that morning I thought. Yes. Yes quite possibly I am.
And then I turned away from the ocean and headed back to the house and my dog and my family and the long stress free day that lay ahead.