Sparkling Waters and the Blue Beneath

Fraser Island, partial cover of rain clouds
I woke up somewhere around 2:30 a.m. the other night, I think from a disturbing dream. In that strange place between sleep and wakefulness, as they often are, my thoughts were muddled yet piercing. “What,” I asked myself, “are we doing here? How is it that we found ourselves on this spot on the Australian map?” I thought of our family and friends and our home and the lives we had left behind. They are precious to us; how did we have the–what: courage? madness?–to leave them behind, even temporarily, and land here?
Moments like this are why…going up the cable car at the Taronga Zoo, Sydney.

My thoughts turned to my dad’s passing, and that horrible, dark day when we were ripped out of our everyday happiness to learn he’d been taken from us. I cannot think about that day without a leaden weight settling on my chest again.

Next month, it’ll have been two years. Nothing is the same as it was then. We try to be happy, we try to carry on. He would have wanted that, yes, of course he would. But every now and again, I find that I dip from the little joys–and trivial worries–that occupy our everyday lives to the sadness beneath. It is always there. It is born of the knowledge that, in this life, we will not know again the wholeness that his presence brought. It is born of the conviction that I want to live a life he would be proud of, even, or especially, since his death. This desire is not born out of a desire to please him–no, that would be futile, and juvenile besides, but because I have realized only lately what he knew all along. This life is about building a spirit that will live on, a spirit that will overcome the things of this world that fade, rust, die.

When we were thinking about coming to Australia, one of the thoughts that kept coming to me was this: “we are travelers on this earth. Whether we are a short drive from loved ones or hemispheres and continents apart, this place is not our home.” What would it teach us, what would we discover, in actually experiencing the life of nomads, of souls in but not of this world? The magnitude of that answer will, I think, take the full length of our time here, and perhaps longer, to make itself known. In the meantime, I am immensely grateful for the time and space to look for answers in big ways and small.

On the ferry back to Sydney’s city center, Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background.
Ariel view of Fraser Island’s eastern coast (75 mile beach)
At the Circular Quay dock, in one of M’s rare, and brief, moments of stillness.

2 thoughts on “Sparkling Waters and the Blue Beneath

  1. Beautiful blog which has brought tears to my eyes (and you know I rarely cry). I know exactly what you mean about the way Dad lived his life. I'm proud of you for going on this terrifying,but hopefully very enriching, adventure.

    Like

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