This weekend, for the first time in a while I was reminded of what matters most to me, what truly makes me happy. I had a full weekend off for the first time in a long while, the kids were to be away with the wife, work was done, the house in order – the coast was my oyster. I planned it all meticulously from dawn till dusk in order to squeeze the most out of my time of freedom. But of course, even the best-laid plans will go awry, sometimes even in the best of ways.
I woke up early, really early. My plan was to sneak out to the lake with my kayak and get some paddling in while the sun was still coming up, soak up some rays and make the most of our spectacular surrounds. But of course, that didn’t go to plan. My youngest was up at the crack of dawn, excited about his fabulous new bike and he wanted to go for a ride. I agreed of course, how could I say no to that face or the shrieking voice from the bedroom shouting to “just take him for a ride already”! Luckily there is plenty of pathways around the lake and board walks throughout Sunshine Cove that offers easy riding, with some nice twisty bits, and fabulous views of the lake as the sun peaks over the horizon. We stopped at the park for some water and to throw the ball for the dog on the grass for a while. I captured some stunning images, playing carefully with the early morning light and the awesome action figures of my two boys, one fluffy, one scruffy. I wouldn’t have wanted to start my day any other way.
We got back home as the rest of the family began their day, and of course as it was the weekend, they all looked to me to provide them with a nutritious breakfast to start their day. So of course I broke out the bacon, eggs and sausages, and anything else greasy I could find, just as my English forefathers would have intended. We placed ourselves out on our deck at our outdoor setting, which, credit to my wife, is probably more comfortable than the couch I take my naps on most afternoons. The view from our back deck has been the muse of much of my creative works lately, with its spectacular view of the sanctuary on the far side of the lake and the boardwalk itself. It has an almost golden hue to it, a spectacular framing for the lake water beyond, teeming with all sorts of wildlife from jumping fish to snapping turtles and impatiently hungry swans.
I was told I would have the afternoon to myself, and I looked forward to it eagerly. The plan was this; wave off the family, then whip out the boardies, it was surfing time. But of course this isn’t how things panned out at all… my wife fell ill and decided to spend the day in bed with a book, leaving me to deal with the troops. I wasn’t going to let this setback stop me, I had my heart set on an afternoon surf, and by my iron will, I’d have it. The kids and I piled into the car and headed off.
The beach was actually rather quiet, we were in luck, and the waves weren’t too bad. We set up, the kids sunning themselves as I took off in full flight for the water. I caught a few waves and rode them just like I did back in the day, fierce and effortless, or at least that’s how I pictured myself. The kids mentioned something about a wounded Manatee floundering on a surfboard but I had no idea what they were talking about, it was only me out there. Looking back at them on the shore they gave a lazy, bored wave and I thought ‘Alright old man, you’ve had your fun’ and I headed back in to shore. I set the board down and took the little ones to hit the water. For what seemed like hours we ducked under waves and splashed each other. I launched them kicking and giggling high into the air before they came splashing down before surfacing, shouting ‘AGAIN! AGAIN!’ It really was a perfect day on the coast, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And the next day, I will gladly do it all again.