Gosh, how much I need to connect with nature! It is not as if I have to go look for it. The suburb we live in is actually really good. But sometimes you have to focus to really connect, right?
I am not a city girl. I grew up in Switzerland, in a tiny town in the mountains (as I’ve mentioned in my “About”), which turned into a very busy ski resort during winter. Needless to say that we spent heaps of time outside, which was always important to my parents. Not only did we ski, but we lived right next to the ice rink, some of the slopes for the cross country skiing started right next to the house and we had horses. So lots of reasons to spend our time off outside and doing stuff. Play Station did not exist in our house for a long time. If we played a game it was a board or card game.
My dad had his company running so well, that he could spend as much time with us as he liked to. He was always around, took time off and tried to spoil us as much as possible. So I remember doing hikes and picnics in late summer and especially in autumn, which was always my favorite season of the year.
Summer is beautiful but fall has this special something up in the mountains. The air is crisp and maybe chilly but then the sun is still strong and warm and all those different colors!We do not have an Indian summer but we do have a lot of red, orange and yellow shades in our forests as well. The ground smells different, as the grass is no longer green and fresh and I find it is a peaceful time as everything seems to slow down and nature seems to prepare for winter. Maybe I love fall so much because it was the time when we did the most picnics… and not a lot of tourists were around. The place belonged to us. Of course I was riding my horse every day and took her for long rides as well, which I more than loved. But the most special moments were the days we knew we would be gone all day. When we packed our picnic in the morning and knew, that we would only be back just before it got dark.
It was usually rather chilly when we left but while we were on our way, the sun got stronger and we could feel it on our backs and just everywhere, warming us up. Me and my friend took the horses and then caught up with the rest of our families. They usually took the car to a certain point and then from there their bikes or hiked to our favorite spot somewhere in one of the beautiful valleys surrounding our village. There we had a little camp fire, grilled sausages, made toast on sticks we got from trees around us. I can still taste those special treats, even if it was very simple food. The sun was usually still strong, which made it even more pleasant. But the flavor that the fire gave the bread and the meat was what made it so special. It was just unique. We stayed for as long as possible, until the sun slowly disappeared behind one of the mountains and the temperature started dropping rapidly. By then it was time to leave as it took at least us on the horses approximately an hour to get back home. And by the time we arrived, we were rather cold…
I still love fall but living in Down Under made me appreciate spring so much more. In the corner we live in, we get to enjoy the four seasons. Sometimes all of them in one day. And this is no joke, believe me!
Finally making our way out of winter slowly, we got to enjoy a couple of really nice days already. But today was probably the most beautiful one in a long time. We decided to take the kids on a nice hike with a picnic at the end of the track we chose, so we could break it up and have a nice little break before heading back. A hike that the kids would be able to do with no big effort but would still feel like a proper hike. So after a little drive we finally got to our starting point and boy, that was already worth the trip!
The hike took us along the cliffs of the coastline and through some very fairytale like parts of the forest, before the track slowly made its way down to an amazingly beautiful beach. There were only a handful of other people around and when we finally agreed on a spot to put our picnic blanket down, we felt like we were the only people here. The little creek, which made its way through the dunes was icy cold but that did not stop the kids from running up and down in it for a very long time. The had a great time discovering this new place. And I love to join them.
The three of us did a little walk along the beach and inspected all those big and small pieces of Kelp which the ocean had spit out. Did you know that it feels like rubber or leather? Maybe it was not Kelp but another sea grass (let’s just call it sea grass for the lack of better understanding of the matter, although I am pretty sure it was Kelp…) and we found heaps of cuttlebones all over the beach. Some of them were huge! I remember that my mom used to buy them for her birds (she had budgies) and when we spent our summers in Italy, we usually scanned the beaches not only for shells but also for those cuttlebones, so we could take them back home. So for those of you who are interested in learning more about what a cuttlebone is, I actually made an effort and found a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuttlebone (there I am actually doing a bit of “research”…)
Over the last couple of weeks I often felt totally worn out and exhausted. When we took off today, all I could think of was to just relax on the beach for a bit before we head back. I was looking forward to it, don’t get me wrong! But I could just not wait until we reached the beach and then get the picnic blanket out, spread out and not move anymore…
To my surprise I could not sit still. I felt so energized by the walk already and this place gave even more energy! It was just stunning! So hard to describe… The water was crystal clear and ranged from a deep dark blue to bright turquoise. The cliffs were rough, some of them covered with deep green grass, others black with sharp edges. The sand was so very light in color, not entirely white but more of a light grey. And so fine… And squeaky… Hehe… yep, depending on how you were walking on it, it actually squeaked… I struggle finding words to describe how beautiful it was.
I ended up chasing my son up and down the beach, over the dunes. I enjoyed so much how both of us could not get enough of all the little wonders we could discover further. My little girl followed us around but she is usually satisfied much faster with the findings than my son. So she decided to hang out with Dad and just stand in the ocean and have a little competition about who gets cold feet faster.
Needless to say that the way back was as stunning as the way to the beach but in addition to the stunning views and the “enchanting forest” we also got to see some kangaroos. You know, they still fascinate me, although I’ve seen so many over the last few years. I guess it’s the Swiss in me, who still finds a kangaroo exotic…
As I write this, my family is relaxing on the sofa, still talking about the amazing day we had. They are all tired and happy. And for me: Yes, I am tired too. But I feel as if my batteries are recharged again. There is an inner peace and an inner calm and I no longer feel exhausted. I feel like I got a boost of energy. Bring on the rest of this week!
How do you do it? How do you recharge your batteries? Does it take you by surprise sometimes as well?