Summer holidays means time at the beach for us - a simple car-free month with no particular plans or programs, collecting wild greens and fossicking in granddad’s orchard. We just play, go koala spotting, ride our old bikes, splash in the lake, jump off jetties, sail, paddle about, make stuff, hang out with grandparents and cousins, and take little picnics. Bliss! We designed our permaculture lifestyle to include this month of retreat to relax, renew, reflect and connect.
|The natural coastline, amazing sky and ever-changing lake. On a calm evening you can hear the Southern Ocean crashing on the 90 mile beach on the other side of the lake.|
|We arrive at the island, then walk, ride and go on the ferry for everything we need for weeks.|
To others, this little place might seem a bit dull. It’s just a little forested sand island with a small number of permanent residents and no shops or cafes either (although there are some across the ferry at Paynesville), but I love it. I feel like I've come home.
There’s a sense of timelessness here. Things change so much more slowly than where I live now in one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. (A new city of 60,000 people is about to be constructed between us and the coast.)
|Lake Victoria, just in front of my parent's island home.|
As soon as we arrive, the smell of the fresh sea air and the soothing sound of the waves and swans beckon us down to the lakeside, and to slow down. I find myself immediately breathing more deeply and feeling calm.
My challenge is to maintain this sense peace throughout the year, but I feel so strongly connected to this place, that when I’m back home, or anywhere in the world, I can simply close my eyes and I am here, at the Island. I can hear it, smell it, see the waves and birds, wander through the interconnected pathways of the koala forest, sense the ever-changing personality of the lake…
|Learning some sailing tips from Grandad. We love summer time with them here. We usually are 2000kms away.|
|Monty's story-telling heaven, this time he was in the Amazon looking for wildlife.|
|The Mirror dinghy, older than me, is a wonderful sailing boat to learn in and explore the Island's coastline.|
|The large lake system can change in an instant from a calm pond to exciting 'surf'.|
|Hugh getting some air. We happened on a BMX track - a great destination for adventure-mad Hugh on our rides around the lakeside.|