Do you have somewhere you go, out in the natural world, that replenishes you? That you return to time and again because it nourishes you, slows you down and touches your heart? A place where, as soon as you are there, you feel at peace? I have such a place, an island off the coast from where I live, that I first visited over twenty years ago and that I've been returning to every year since.
North Stradbroke Island, off the South East Queensland coast, is my special place. I feel a strong connection to "Straddie" even though I am only there for a few short weeks each year. As soon as I am on the barge heading out across the bay to her shores, I feel an inner exhale that I know signals the beginning of a deep contentment. Life's pace slows down to what feels like a natural rhythm and the days follow a languid routine of walking, swimming, picnicking, reading and sleeping.
Now too, we have our beautiful boy to share this island with and he has come to love her as much as we do. He jumps in her waves, explores her beaches and rock pools, climbs up and then comes tumbling down her great sand dune. All the while, he is forging and deepening his love of nature.
It won't be long now and we'll be back on our beloved Straddie again. I can't wait!