Day Fifty Two (15 February)

Day 52 was one of those serendipitous days where things just click into place.

The folks at Carroll College in Broulee had written in asking me to visit their school, and since the viewing public had agreed that it seemed fair to be able to ride out there in a car if I returned to the same spot, I was able to make it work.

(This meant I could visit Tuross & Mallacoota, if a car could pick me up from the highway)

In fact, while I was squaring off the details and asking my mate Einstein if he was in the area, I got an invitation from the Moruya Waterfront Hotel Motel to stay on an extra night, which I gratefully accepted.

I also received a (quite difficult) Daily Donor Dare of DooOOoM, requiring me to list the 5 things I liked/respected/loved most about myself.

(Self regard has always been a bit iffy for me, but I did my best)

You can see in this video, but in short my answers were:

1) Joyfulness (newly discovered, but much loved)

2) Compassion / Empathy

3) Humour

4) Intelligence / Open Mindedness

5) Toughness / Endurance

I found the “Blue Heron Cafe” nearby the laundromat, and stopped in for a big breakfast (thanks so much!), then made my slow ambling way back to the hotel to collect my gear, pausing for a friendly chat with some of the locals.

When I got back to the hotel, I got a sad message from my little mate Jhye (or rather his mum) saying that he’d suffered some pretty heavy bullying at school and was struggling with anxiety as a result.

I didn’t know what to say, but I had to say SOMETHING.

In life, trying matters. Showing up .. it matters.

I never really planned what was going to come out of my mouth, so couldn’t forecast it’s value, but looking back at the video, I think it’s pretty much straight-up truth.

We soften our outlook, sympathise even with the aggressor, but a big part of me rejects that. If you’re a hurter, a breaker or a taker: shame on you. You have this beautiful opportunity to turn it around, to make amends. Do it.

After a pleasant wander across the bridge to drop my back at the Waterfront, I then get ANOTHER message about a child in distress.

This time from Archer’s mum.

And this time the bully was cancer and it’s treatments.

Poor little bugger was getting knocked around hard by the chemo.

All the postcards and videos in the world couldn’t change the unfairness of it all – but I like to think that I gave that little boy a boost here and there through his ordeal.

After that, I met up with Einstein (see how healthy & smiley he looks, after all the sun and swimming ?), and we got into his old white car and drove out to Broulee.

We were quite early, so took the scenic route to the school, Broulee really is a gorgeous stretch of coast.

The school itself ? What a joy !

All of these surreal moments were such a gift, I’ll treasure memories like my visit to Carroll College.

This wall of teenagers, clapping and cheering – and let that sink in .. TEENAGERS.

Can you even imagine a teenager clapping and cheering for anything, let alone some old derro dressed up like an out-of-work superhero ?

It was just marvelous 😀

The young people had some wonderful questions, and the student leaders ceremonially presented me with some delicious cookies baked in their Home Ec room.

What a moment of joy and sunshine, I loved it.

Thank you, Carroll College.

After that, we bumped into Macca (She’s the Bomb), and sat down for a good long chat at a local park.

Bloody hilarious woman, heart of gold.

Sadly, most of the conversation was X rated and full of expletives, so I can’t reproduce it here, but we had a great old time.

I particularly enjoyed an assessment and debate regarding whether or not Einstein ACTUALLY WAS the smartest man in the universe.

(I still remain undecided)

After a pleasant picnic of cookies and warming cans of Tooheys, we said our farewells and headed back to Moruya.

I really enjoyed that long and boozy afternoon at the Waterfront. I had the privilege to meet Joe and his lovely wife, this fellow Lei (who brought me a letter from Scout Coralie which made me cry a little), Macca and her friends, Mayor Matt and a bunch of colourful and wonderful locals.

(There was this lovely lady who gave me some lavender for my sore feet who was just a delight)

But for all the beauty of the people, Moruya’s heart-punch for me was those sunsets. The changing colours across the water, the crisp freshness of the air – it’s a gorgeous place.

But those sunsets across the mountains and the water ? Serene, beautiful, haunting even.

I can hardly wait to see them again.