For Christmas, my sister decided to gift us with experience instead of a household appliance, like she did the last time with a dishwasher I thought I didn’t need but now can’t imagine doing dishes without. She’s very thoughtful like that. I told her she didn’t need to but she insisted, saying it was more for Raven than for us.
And so sometime in the first week of January this year we squeezed ourselves in her Toyota Yaris, fitting in Raven’s car seat through one of the two doors and then jumping into our preferred seats ready for the ride. As if there were a lot of seats to choose from, it being a 4-seater and there was already four of us.
The sky was blue and the sun was out. I thanked the universe for such a wonderful day to go to the beach. But first, a pit stop at our local Hungry Jack’s, where we actually went in and sat at the tables to eat our food instead of ordering at the drive thru like we always do.
I like Hungry Jack’s. My go-to order is their regular cheeseburger meal with extra extra pickles because I’m a psychopath like that. But while I enjoyed my burger, I couldn’t really say the same thing about my experience dining in. I mean, I know it’s a fast food restaurant and all so candle lights or soft warm lighting are obviously out of the question but I found the place to be… not clean. I felt sorry for the young employees who were clearly understaffed that day who had to pick up after the other customers’ rubbish. More so for those who had to clean the toilets.
But, yeah. Having said that, I still eat their burgers. I grew up eating street food in the Philippines. It’s just one of those things, you know.
The place we went to was called Koonya Ocean Beach. A beautiful beach typical of what you’d see in Victoria, with its cold blue water and great white waves rushing in rhythm to linen-colored shores along a bushland.
No palm trees down here.
Raven enjoyed the rock pools — eroded rocks that formed crevices into which sea creatures live and thrive in calm comfort from the strong tides. Together, we explored and saw little fishes darting around, snails curled up in their shells, and starfishes chilling in their place.
I was one of those starfishes. In a sense that I was literally chilling in my spot. And I don’t mean the lounging kind of way where you lose yourself in the rhythm of the beach. Well, that was me too, except that I was fucking freezing.
For all the blue skies and sunshine, the ocean breeze blew right into my bones when it wasn’t trying to blow my hat away. It was more like a gale, to be honest. My only fabric of comfort was the thin poncho I thankfully brought with me which served as an additional layer against bronchitis.
I think I birthed a mutant. Raven was there in her swimsuit in the water and begging to stay a bit longer.
It was a beautiful place, though. I’ll give it that. I even took the opportunity to pen some thoughts while I sat freezing on the sand — thoughts about how it’s the kind of place you’d wanna live to die. It’s like already being on heaven’s doorstep.
It’s weird how I think about death a lot. Not in a suicidal way. More like in the temporariness of everything which makes me appreciate each breath more. Every heartbeat becomes a prayer of gratitude for the privilege to live and experience love.
Cheers to our future adventures.
P.S. Big thank you to my sister for making this day happen. Until next time. Also, you’re still driving.
*Raven at 5 years old