Shake it Up: Postcard from Rottnest Island

It’s been one week.

Here I am, sitting at my laptop on Rottnest Island outside of Perth and sipping a glass of beer. I’m tired from biking all the way around the island, stopping to see cliffs, shipwrecks, lighthouses, quokkas, and the beautiful blue water. I leave tonight to head back to Minnesota and somehow this was the first time I’ve felt on a holiday.

Music from the DJ pulsates through the sandy grass. Blue water and streaked white sky slip together seamlessly. Tour ships and smaller boats sit quietly in the marina, the docks leading out to their stillness in a welcoming but easy way. Seagulls beg for food at the outdoor table nest to me and I can’t help but laugh inwardly at their persistence. All around me are accents from this beautiful country, merging together in a laughter that is seemingly shared by all. The sand is blissfully white, brightened against the coastline.

Happiness is simply a thought away, it’s said.

I catch sight of two boys, about 3 and 5 years old, race down the sand and toward the gentle lapping waves, and I can’t help but think that it’s closer than we realize.

Happiness could be the chase toward blue water’s edge.

Another seagull nestles in the sand as her mate stands watch for dropped fries and messy children. The sand cradles her belly from the delighted footprints of beachgoers and, in time, she flies unconcernedly away.

The trees here dip in a loving way, as though fully aware of the comfort they provide to their visitors. They turn and shift and bend, dripping with cool shade: for those on two wheels and those on two feet; those pushing carriages with young babes and those hand in hand with their love.

I am closer to chasing those waves than I realize.