Ah Home! Australia. Bewdy. Straight down to the coast to my beach house. Long walks each morning and evening with the dogs down on the Back beach. There are miles and miles of empty sand and not a another soul to be seen. The simple joy of throwing sticks for the doggies Jess and Callum who are Border Collies and can run and swim all day.
They love it.
Swimming and body surfing in icy water. Men and beasts. Falling into deep sleeps each night tasting salt on my lips. There is salt in the air too. I am mentally rocked into sleep by the sound of waves crashing on the shore. The sound of the sea is rhythmical and soothing and there is no traffic noise. None whatsoever.
It is so very nice.
Sunday morning spent sprawling across the deck just basking in the morning sun. There are the Sunday Newspapers spread amongst the adults. Broadsheets. We have tall glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice. We chomp away on croissants and toast. Eggs and bacon. The bacon in Australia is the soggy sort and not the crispy stuff that we have in Singapore and in the US. There is lots of fresh black coffee. The odour of coffee beans permeates the air and it smells of waking.
There is intrusion of the adult space and peace by brown-legged children of various sizes and ages. They pick paths amongst us and over us in the sea of newspapers.
They smell of coconut tanning lotion.
These youth are impatiently seeking out sunscreen, wet suits, surfboards, towels. Beach gear. Summer Fun. I know this and I remember it. It is good hustle and bustle.
There are many of these restless children. Some of them I recognized others I didn’t. They are making demands in normal teenage ways. They are loudly declaring their needs for food and their wants for car and boat keys. There are enquiries about the whereabouts of mobile phones and headphones and IPods and IPads. This generation communicate electronically and instantly They do this by Facebook Messaging - even when they are in the same room. They live in the Now.
It is insane.
It is funny though.
It amuses me.
There is always Money too. Give me Money please. Is that all? They are Loud. Very Loud.
Amongst this throng and noise I was reading an article. It was by a mother and journalist who described being witness to an Act of Kindness at a school Christmas Year Concert. The article was beautifully written and the story touched me.
It moved me.
The Writer described attending her child's end-of-year school concert where graduations were also being celebrated. Speeches were being made and there were performances with singing and dancing and Awards. All the usual stuff that one would expect at such Graduation ceremonies. The Writer observed that the main Award for the year was the Kindness Award. The Writer liked this and so do I. When the School Principal presented the Award to a shy but beaming nine year old boy he asked the crowd of hundreds to put their hand up if they had been affected by an act of kindness from the Recipient that year. The Writer described feeling a lump in her throat at the sight of the sea of hands she observed that were raised from teachers, students and well, everyone.
I wish I had been there.
Kindness can sway masses. It can move mountains.
So I grabbed the tanned leg of the next teenager that endeavored to step over me. I made them read the article too. The first one happened to be Georgie who is my favorite niece. I made her sit next to me and read. Georgie read it and she told me that she thought that the story was nice. I suggested to Georgie that maybe she could do something nice for someone every day. It told her that I thought that we should all practice more kindness. Georgie smiled and said that she did this already and I suspect that she probably does. She's a very good girl is Georgie.
I very much like that they teach and reward kindness in Australian schools. I think that it is a very good thing.
It is something worth doing.
It is something worth celebrating.