Flashback, January 2009. I was house-sitting in the boondocks of Brisvegas. Minding a demanding cat. Had just returned from Gippsland to city life, and to 'work' after my little wanderings and forced spell of introspection. I spent nights cooking tofu, web trawling, and feasting upon the entire Love My Way boxset. During the web trawling, I *fast forwards a little bit* happened upon a guy. Who lived in a bus called Alice. Looked like a bushie. Spoke a desert language. Created amazing landscape photographs. And was migrating from the outback to the coast, just south of Bris-vegas. I emailed him. He emailed back. I emailed him again... and all went quiet.
I moved into a little house on the 'Hill. I went to work, went to yoga. Kept cooking. Unpacked a little. Relished domesticity, and being still.
Fast forward six months. Not looking, I found him again. And this time he wrote back, many times. I counted eleven thousand words in one week. So I invited myself for a visit! We met on Sunday 12 July 2009, at Tallebudgera. We had a nervous cup of tea in the bus. Then went kayaking on the creek. Further upstream than he'd ever been. (Unknowingly, I almost killed him - we'd left without food...) After emergency first-lunch back in the bus, we wandered into Burleigh for fish and chips on the foreshore. At dusk we had beers on the beach. And at twilight, walked back through the Burleigh headland, where our path was lit by fireflies. Dazzling.
It was a huge day. Driving back to Bris-vegas, my whole being raced. I had some mad inexplicable conviction that I was either going to marry him, or he was going to break my heart. Later that week his brother moved in around the corner from me. Of all the burbs in Brisbane! So we met for the second time, and it was sealed.
So much has happened since then. It has been as difficult, at times, as it has been wonderful. We got over some early speed wobbles. And moved on to the greater challenge: longeivity. I can only think to explain it like this. Imagine a forest of really old trees. They survive because they've put down deep roots. Maybe buttresses too. And they need space from other old trees, for the roots to absorb the goodness from the earth, and for the leaves to draw sunlight and moisture. Now imagine, if two of the trees tried to share the same space. How to refashion their trunks to fit the other? How to each get what they need from the world? Maybe it's not a perfect analogy, but it makes perfect sense to me.
A few weeks ago, we went back to Burleigh to celebrate our first year. (We count the day we met as our anniversary.) Sunrise at Currumbin Rocks (above). Beachside carousing. And fish and chips on the foreshore. Where we made it official. The betrothal, I mean. Can you believe the Relics already knew?! And with that, completing the loop on that mad, knowing conviction.