Friday, January 16, 2015

The shack dimension

I think any minute I will see a goanna walk, in that prehistoric gait they have, past my window as I sit and absorb nearly 5 years’ worth of peace. The sand hill which nestles the shack is dry, sporting tufts of grey shrubbery, a few escaped succulents and lots of sand. This morning I cleared the sparse, prickly, dead weeds from the front where I like to sit and watch the sea. I came across a hole large enough not to be a snake hole; fresh, white sand having been cleared from its entrance quite recently. I am looking forward to seeing the occupant as, over the years, several individual, prehistoric creatures have wandered slowly past this window making me feel even more that the shack is in a different dimension than the rest of the world.

The longer you have been away from the shack, the stronger is its effect. You can leave home with your head full but arrival at the shack empties it. The first morning here begins your transformation to a new dimension where your whole, “real” life no longer exists and is replaced with space, which refuses to be filled. Time almost stands still; days become long and languid, ruled by nothing and filled simply with the light and sounds of the sea.

Any others you may encounter have been similarly transformed. Children and dogs frolic with cricket balls, sand castles, little boats and beach towels. Parents cease to fret and, instead, enjoy fun, laughter and relaxation. Even testy teenagers are happy!

At the kiosk, the only shop for 20 kms, the shop keepers smile and chat, fill lolly bags, talk about fishing and are happy to see you back for the holidays. Outside, the wall is lined with kids’ bikes and at the door sit dogs, waiting patiently. Here, children ride their bikes in groups of mixed ages and there is not a smart phone or head phone to be seen anywhere. Fashion is not in this dimension either; everyone has bare feet or thongs, an old hat and a t-shirt over bathers.

In the last 5 years, since I have been in Tasmania, McMansions have sprung up here but those people are either inside with their technology, out fishing in their McMassive boats(as evidenced by the increase in Four wheel drives and empty trailers lining the streets near the boat ramp)  or have similarly been transformed into the shack dimension and blend with the rest of us.

Day one of waking in the shack dimension often ends without even walking the few steps to the beach. After so much yearning for a swim in warm water, a paddle on my board and a long walk on the beach, unbounded by coves or cliffs, it may seem odd but such is the transition. I don’t have to do anything and for a couple of days I don’t. I sit and watch, I read, I sleep, I look out for the goanna and I feel wonderful.

Life is good. I am there and taking it slow.