Day 376 | Summer is coming to a conclusion: but still time for a few more swims in the surf

Esperance Day 78

I awoke in the library with the afternoon sunshine streaming in.

Where was I again?

Oh. That’s right.

Cycling across Australia, holed up in a small town called Esperance. That name doesn’t exactly translate as Hope. It’s more than that in the French: ‘Hope with confidence and faith in the future’ the sign on the outskirts of town states. In any case it sounded like a good place to bunker down for a while.

Maybe the rides out to Twilight has taken a bit out of me. I’d headed off at 4pm each day this week, thinking it’s time to gain a little conditioning for the next two months in the saddle. 15km into the wind, one way or the other, on the roller coaster bike path, then a splash in that clean, clear, and I might add cool, water.

Or perhaps because I’d been up late re-reading Walden in my tent, if it’s possible to be up while laying down on my comfy sleeping mat. You know, the “mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” stuff.

Thoreau always made some sense to me: experience life before extinction. Or, as he more poetically put it, to “live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

There’s plenty of solace for the solitary type: “I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”

And: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” There’s a morass of mumbo jumbo there as well.

I’m not having a couple of winters snowed in a log cabin (but close enough to stoll into town and have Mum do the washing.) It’s a whole summer at the beach, a long summer of writing and contemplation.

The days are shorter now, we’re heading for the autumn equinox. The sea is cooling.

Another couple of weeks farting around and I’ll be on my way.