Tuesday, April 05, 2005

bedtime story

I've just started reading Jill Ker Conway's autobiography, The Road from Coorain. I like this bit at the beginning, when she's writing about her parents' sheep-farm:

"Here, pressed into the earth by the weight of that enormous sky, there is real peace. To those who know it, the annihilation of the self, subsumed into the vast emptiness of nature, is akin to a religious experience."

Yeah, I can relate to that. Atheists like me can experience the divine too, without needing to humanise it and call it "God" or go to church to worship it. Nature is god; nature is the church. That's my religion.
I often feel that sense of overwhelming peace when we're out walking along the beach road every day. It's a good long walk, running parallel to the ocean so there's nothing but bush and sea and sky all around you. OK, there's a row of ostentatious mansions along the west side of the road, but they're almost always empty and I just tune them out. I like to stare out at the horizon instead, or up towards the mountainous headland at each end of the road.
Still, apart from the ocean itself, there's not as much opportunity for experiencing the vastness of nature here at the beach as there was when we lived in the bush, by the lake. It's far more built-up, and we get a lot more tourists. I laugh at how I think the pace of life around here is so much faster than it was during the year we lived at the lake. "Fast", haha! Well, there's two bars here; there were none at the lake. Everything's relative.
To tell you the truth though, I pine for that time, last year. I feel a sense of lost innocence, or something, since having moved here. Like I'm more cynical and jaded and less naive. Everything's darker. It's hard to explain why, but I suppose it's something to do with the fact that when you're living in isolation, you can lose touch with reality a bit; you live in your head a lot more. I think I was living in a bit of a fairytale. And I miss it.
Maybe that won't make sense to anyone but me, but hell, sometimes blogging's just therapy.
Anyway, I'm off to snuggle under the doona with Jill now. I think I'm getting the flu--I've been aching all over all day. Just what I need.