Saturday, May 14, 2011


perambulate |pəˈrambyəˌlāt|
verb [ trans. formalwalk or travel through or around (a place or area), esp. for pleasure and in a leisurely way she perambulated the square.
Well, imagine that! That's EXACTLY what I did today. Except for the square part. I didn't perambulate a square—I perambulated into and around my whole TOWN. Yeah, I did. And yeah, I'm pleased with myself.

… I should probably start at the beginning, shouldn't I.
The thing is, this past week, I've been feeling lowly and poorly and sorry for myself. I have. There, it's out. At least three days in a row of low and sorry and anxious and sad. Ugh. 
So I thought. It's time to do something. Take a day off. Recharge. 
First I thought: I want to go to a hotel and lie on a bed and watch movies ALL DAY.
Then I thought: I want to go up to Sydney and find a movie house and watch movies ALL DAY.
Then I thought: I'll just go into town, and watch movies ALL DAY.
As I got ready to go out, I got overwhelmed, and I thought:I want to shut my bedroom door and lie on my bed and stay there ALL DAY.
Which is when I knew I really had to get out.
Luckily at that very moment, I thought: 
Maybe I should go up the mountain and go for a hike? Which was the perfect thought, because then I realised—I just want to be OUT. I just want to walk outside, and be under that blue sky. I want to get OUT and move my body and walk and walk and walk and spend hours with just my thoughts for company, OUT in the sunshine…
So that's what I did. I just 
stepped out my door and… walked 12 kilometres into town.
I really did! 
It felt unbelievable.

Fifteen minutes in, I saw the sea 

and the sun was shining like crazy!

And I saw interesting things straightaway. Who knew that on some side road you'd find this?

People were dropping off their gas canisters and old batteries in a random carpark near the beach. It was a "Don't come to us; we'll come to you!" traveling hazardous waste collection service. How very friendly and helpful.
And I saw things of beauty. Like, over and over and over. 

Because this whole time, I was walking by the sea. Either on a path near the sea or on the sand right by the sea or in the vicinity of the sea, and I could feel its energy the whole time, lifting me.
Or was that the wind? 'Cos the wind was NUTS. After a while of leaning into it, like after about an hour, I thought, Huh. This isn't quite as fun as the beginning. 
And then I had this existential thought. (Which is one of the great things about long walks. You have thoughts! Uninterrupted ones! Deep ones and thin ones, fat ones and shallow ones! Lovely.)
Anyway, I thought: 
This walk is a bit like life, isn't it? In that, in life you don't really know when you'll have fun or not have fun. But you keep walking. And you keep thinking, maybe in a minute I won't be walking into the wind. Maybe in a minute, I'll round the path and see something cool. 

Like a big old surfboat race

and a person swimming (swimming!!) in the rock pool 

while people in beanies and jackets stood in the gusting wind and watched the boats tear by.  A little later, I took a pathaway from the windand stood near some trees and listened to birds talkingand families whizzed past on their bikes
and I kept on walking. And walking and walking. With the sun on my back the whole time, so my shadow kept me company everywhere I went. 

And in this way, I walked into town. Stopping and watching and listening and taking note

 of the ships lined on the horizon 
of swimmers braving the cold, 
how the view stretched on,

and the trees stood and kept each other company.

Suddenly, there I was, 
12 kilometres in, in town. 
And I was HUNGRY. 

So then, there I was, 
sitting in a pub (A pub! Like a grown-up!) having my lunch (by myself!) and feeling just. so. good. 

(And my lunch rocked, by the way.) 

But the adventure wasn't even over.

Because then I walked just a bit more…
and took myself to the movies. 

And sat for two whole hours in the happy dark, lost in another world, while my tired knees rested and my spirit sighed with contentment.

When I got out, it was dark and cold. And I was in town. Without a car.

What did I do?

I caught a bus! The first bus I've taken in ages. And it wasn't long, and only took me part-way home and I still needed to get picked up, but for those 10 minutes, I just 


I remembered all the bus rides of my university days, and the bus rides through the cities I'd lived in, and how I used to people-watch, and it was always just me, 
independant, unfettered, free as a bird,
and I smiled for that old me and that old life.

While just itching to get home
to the life I have now,

refreshed and worn-out, both.

Ready to share my Grand Adventure with my kids and husband,

wanting to see how their  faces lit up when they saw me,

knowing my face would light up just the same,
when I saw them. 



  1. Sunshine is good for the brain :)

    I can completely relate to this post. I get down sometimes and in a funk, mentally exhausted, but a day outside is always a great remedy! Although, oddly, i don't remember that UNTIL I spend a day outsdie and realize I feel soooo much better!

  2. What an adventure! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. Helena what a wonderful adventure!!! I love it..all parts of it. I can't remember the last time I did anything like this alone.

    You know it is the same way I am...I can stay at home for a few days and even something like running to the store makes me feel so much better. As much as I love 'home' we all need adventures and outings. Lovely...

    The food looks so yummy and I love the picture of your shadow on the bridge. Your town looks beautiful!

  4. How cool is it to a) walk by yourself (sometimes it is nice to not have to talk) and b) go to the movies by yourself (you can watch whatever you want!).

    How brave of you to get out of bed and go. Thank you for sharing!

  5. That is a good adventure. One that I would have liked to have. A bus, movie, a beer. I sigh just thinking of it all.

  6. Perfect! I love Alone days. I get a few minutes (sans morning before-the-babes-wake) maybe once every year or so. :)
    I'd be a regular visitor, should I be seaside, I think!

  7. Love this post -- so thankful I stumbled here. Wonderful pictures, wonderful narrative. Isn't it lovely how refreshing the sea can be?


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.