As the year draws to a close, I’ve been fortunate enough to get work in places I’ve never visited before. I’m always happy to travel, but to travel to a new place, brings its own joy. With no flights to the area, my colleague and I were forced to drive over 300+ km to Onslow from Karratha.
Onslow is about 1300 km north of Perth and on the coast of Western Australia. The population is small with only about 600 people who call this place home. The people are hardy. The place is prone to cyclones. I’m not sure about my colleague but I was slightly apprehensive about visiting, especially about accommodation. Much to our delight, the hotel was modern, clean and right on Beadon Bay.
We arrived lunch time on Sunday. The town was alive with the Sunday sesh at, it would seem, the only pub. It was hot. We were tired. Lunch was delicious. As I adjusted to my surrounds, like Cinderella, Onslow seemed to transform before my eyes. The mud flats glistened and, like me, the sand plovers stood still to take it all in.
The flowers were made from velvet. A reminder, beauty can bloom under a scorching gaze.
At the local park, perhaps one of the more poignant war memorials I’ve seen in a while, made us stop to remember those lost, and those left behind.
A walk along the boardwalk nearly led us all the way down to the beach but not quite. The sudden stop had it’s own purpose. It gave us time to stop and look around us. In the quiet with just the sea breeze, we were in the middle of Grand Central Station. Below the wooden walkway, there were prints left behind by reptiles, birds, an empty snake egg and a gecko at one with the sand.
The beach in Onslow is unusual. The sand is dark and different to the sugar sand of Esperance or golden beige of Broome. The distinctive colour adds hues and definition to the shells, most of whom were quite different to what I’ve found elsewhere. Needless to say, I collected a few to share with you.
As I listened to my colleague preparing for the next phase in her life I realised I had never given that much thought. I enjoy my work and my lifestyle too much to consider an alternative. I am living my dream. Until I visited Onslow.
I walked the beach in silence. And, in that sacred moment I knew with absolute certainty.
When I retire from work, I will be spending the rest of my life walking along that foamy line where sand meets the sea.
Until next time
a dawn bird