My God I am glad to be back on Yallingup beach. Yallingup’s importance to me is almost inexplicable. I could spend pages explaining the habits formed over my lifetime of family holidays in Yallingup that shaped how I view holidays, my relationship with my siblings and to some extent the very way I relax and think. That stretch of beach, that headland, those waters are a core part of my ability to be happy in life, and at no time have I felt that fact like Friday night, when I stood on that beach again after two years missing it every day.
I didn’t KNOW there was a weight on my heart until I stood on the ice-cold black of the sand, in the roar of the midnight surf, saw the constellations of my childhood trying to outshine the full moon laying down a silver pathway to the horizon and I was truly happy. I hadn’t REALISED there was a curb to my imagination until I stood in the freezing cold afternoon sea, squinting into the waves frosted white gold with the setting sun, diving under the wash to lie on the sand while the white water boiled above me and I was finally enjoying the completely unfettered run of thoughts in my head.
Lying on the sand and getting so close to it you could see it is pristine white only because each grain is a different colour of the rainbow. Watching the bay change from clear to green to blue to silver and then grey to black with the depth of water, the angle of the sun and the movement of the tides. Sitting in the shade at midday with the cicada song thrumming through you, the heat making your muscles feel alive as you simultaneously strain towards the warmth and recoil from the harshness. Going to sleep with the boom of the waves and waking to the cries of magpies and honeyeaters. Standing on the reef in the swells, challenging each wave to knock you over, and mostly losing.
The house, the garden, the bookshelves, the beds, the smell, the next door neighbours and the path to the beach have not changed in my living memory. I was home; washed up on the beach, sand in my bathers and so happy a smile was inadequate.