I recently read that art is found at the "middle way" between mindfulness and mind wandering.
It grabbed my attention because as someone who always has her head in the clouds, my focus has long been staying present and in the moment - so much so that I guess I forgot about the power of dreaming and distraction.
The more I thought about it, the more I hypothesised that much of life's magic lies on that razor's edge between being mindful and letting your mind wander, living in the moment and getting lost in fantasy, staying grounded and daring to fly.
This is what I played with at Jimmys Beach over the weekend of my 28th birthday. There's enough going on here to have you constantly on the move but it's also so picturesque that you can't help but stop to breathe it all in...
Thank you to North Coast Holiday Parks for hosting me, for forgiving my turning up to a powered site reservation with no tent and for putting me up in a cute beach cabin that faced the paperbarks and was just mere steps from the sand...
Tucked away in the inlet at Jimmys Beach, I spent hours on the warm sand, with a camera in one hand, to pause time, and a book in the other, to while it all away. I ducked back to my beach cabin for meals but my heart never strayed too far from that island blue water. The southern end of Jimmys Beach at Winda Woppa was my favourite; it had me feeling Dalmatian Coast vibes with its narrow arc of white sand leading back to Yacaaba Headland, standing tall.
One morning, I took a turn up a sandy path from Jimmys Beach and found myself on a totally different beach. It felt like I'd stumbled onto an alternate universe...because on the eastern side of the peninsula lies Bennetts Beach, where there is some surf instead of bath-like conditions and where there is nothing but ocean on the horizon.
A sunrise is always a surefire way to stop me in my tracks. Even though it is something that occurs every day, it never loses its allure. Everything changes so swiftly in those short moments that I barely even dare to blink, for fear of missing that transient hue of pink the sky turns just before and of missing that instant when the sun first kisses the ocean.
Sunrise at Bennetts Beach is so beautiful that it draws people out, if only to stand and admire from the carpark with coffee in hand. We chose to abandon bitumen for sand and soon were greeted by a pod of dolphins going for their morning swim. When they left us, the sun was well and truly up and it's as though we woke up from a trance. We continued on with our day...but with a sparkle in our eyes.
Down the southern end of Bennetts Beach is Yacaaba Headland. This headland doesn't look like it rises that high, but the views from the top are pretty cool. The walk to the viewpoint is uphill but on easy terrain whereas the last section to the summit is much steeper and on rocky ground. But take your time, be prepared with sturdy shoes and water, and you'll love it. Looking down on Jimmys and Bennetts Beach made us appreciate Australia's pristine, sweeping beaches.
For a little birthday gallivant, I drove a teensy 14 minutes to Dark Point and hiked through some sand dunes to reach a wild, empty coastline. I felt as though I was on the edge of the earth and although it was stunning, it also felt strangely lonely. I struggled to enjoy all that laid before me because in the back of my mind, I wondered if I'd be able to find my way back through the dunes. Of course, the road was only on the other side of the sand dunes and after only SOME disorientation, I was safely back to my car with my first adventure as a 28 year old under my belt.
As I begin my 29th year of life, I'm taking with me this lesson - the importance of allowing myself to revel in the here + now as well as to dream wildly. After all, without dreaming, there would never be potential for progress and without being able to stay still, there would never be enough focus and dedication to elicit change.
Thank you again to North Coast Holiday Parks xx