Time travel

An age-old question… if you could choose to spend a day anywhere with anyone -alive or dead- where and who would you choose?

For me, the means to the answer lies in a quote from a romance novel…

“If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders.”
― Vi Keeland, Bossman

Back in my 2012 blog archives, an excerpt from “Footprints in the Sand” sets the scene…

“Hawks Nest is a small town located on the southern end of the Mid North Coast in NSW, Australia, linked over the river to the equally small town of Tea Gardens, now via a bridge, 40 years ago by ferry.

You’ll often find me in spirit at Hawks Nest. When I do a meditation journey exercise, my special places might be Bennetts Beach or Jimmys Beach around to Winda Woppa. If I’m daydreaming at my desk, I may be walking along the beach with my dog Bo, searching for shells or starfish in the rock pools. Hawks Nest has a long history with my family. My grandparents were farmers, and the few holidays they took with their children were to Tea Gardens & Hawks Nest. Some of my earliest memories are weekends spent at Hawks Nest with Mum & Dad, trailing along with Dad searching for bait pippies as he fished, later camping and fishing at Mungo Brush and gatherings with a mob of family and friends at Jimmys Beach caravan park. Winda Woppa was the dog-friendly beachside holiday house location for several years of wintertime annual family get-togethers notable in the amount of food & liquid refreshments consumed and compensating epic beach walks; similar occasions continuing to the present-day at other times of year and accommodations around Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens. I don’t get to Hawks Nest so much as I’d like these days but it’s never far from my thoughts.”

“I’ll just tell you what I remember because memory is as close as I’ve gotten to building my own time machine.”
― Samantha Hunt, The Invention of Everything Else

Dad likes to tell me I’ve been going to Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens since before I was born. Over the years it has been a recurring destination, often in the company of family, friends, dog but sometimes a solo sojourn… it’s where I commune with the living, the dead, and myself.

However, visits to Hawk Nest with the G.O. and Diesel-Dog have been sporadic and brief. So, during the early part of this year when we were tossing up ideas for a celebratory retirement holiday in June [postponed to July then November], we jettisoned thoughts of luxury escapes and resorts, opting to mingle past and present for a week staying in a rented beach house on the bay around at Winda Woppa.

“I loved you backward and forward in time. I loved you beyond boundaries of time and space.”
― Dan Simmons, Endymion

Winda Woppa from my camera roll…

01 Winda Woppa_sunrise
Good morning…
02 Winda Woppa_in my holiday house kitchen
In my holiday house kitchen…
03 Winda Woppa_Dingo
One of two dingoes we saw daily going about their business along the beach…
04 Winda Woppa_R&R_G.O.
Book with a view…
05 Winda Woppa_Diesel
Beach is better with stick…
06 Winda Woppa_R&R_Diesel
Thalassophile…
07 Winda Woppa_simple food
Eating the leftovers. Holiday fare from the local IGA supermarket/deli, bakery, seafood co-op, butcher, bottle shop…
08 Winda Woppa_between the lagoon and the bay
Sunday morning stroll between the lagoon and the bay…
09 Winda Woppa_Family
Beach bums family portrait…
10 Winda Woppa_looking across Myall River to Singing Bridge
Afternoon walk along the Myall River looking across at the Singing Bridge that connects Hawks Nest to Tea Gardens…
11 Winda Woppa_can you see the dolphin fin
Can you see the dolphin fin?
12 Winda Woppa_where the Myall River meets the bay
A last sunset walk on the beach… for now.

Too much of a good thing is never enough… Next month we return for a week in our caravan staying at the dog-friendly Reflections Holiday Park Hawks Nest, congregating with the rest of the family dispersed among various holiday accommodations and coming together for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration at Tea Gardens. 

An unfortunate postscript: As we drove home early on Monday 8 November reflecting on how much we, especially Diesel-Dog, as well as family members living only an hour or so drive away who visited us for day trips, enjoyed our week-long holiday; the ABC released a news article on their website… Mystery Millions/The sleepy seaside town of Hawks Nest in the Obeid’s sights ahead of the Four Corners television report that night… Obeid Inc: the secret deals making the Obeid family millions. Both allege questionable targeting of Aboriginal-owned land in pursuit of new deals. Neither makes for happy viewing. Sigh.


18 thoughts on “Time travel

  1. i can see why your thoughts turn to this beautiful place. A prayer to whoever might be listening….please don’t let a huge development spoil this lovely place.
    Where do my thoughts go? During lockdown I thought of the Grampians in Western Victoria as the place I long to holiday in. It is a place that holds special childhood holiday memories as well as ones from the last decade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the Grampians, and it was you who during our 2016 travel around Victoria gave us a tip to travel to Portland and on to the Grampians… indeed it is a special place. Thank you for the prayer… Hawks Nest is going to need them.

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  2. I can’t decide which of your photos I love, but the family portrait was interesting.

    Where is my place?
    Earlier in the lockdown, I thought about Vaughan Park Retreat Centre, adjacent to Long Bay Beach Reserve, when could I return – closed because of lockdown. But then later I thought about places that my blog friends live near to – including Mrs N in Japan – and her quiet photos of temples in her area, where they silently arose out of a beautiful landscape, and now with less tourists seem to be marking time. Places like your holiday, with long miles of endless beach…And then my soul would reconnect me and I would go to my spare storage room, find paper and start making the “quilts” and I would lose myself in the process…

    We are still in a jumbled up lockdown – somewhere betwixt the “roadmap and the traffic lights” – words and thoughts that the government dreamed up. I’ve noted in the last week or so “the word picnic” has disappeared…

    Catherine,, across the ditch in the Auckland Region

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    1. Not an easy task to choose favourite photos… I took so many but it’s hard to do justice to real life with a phone camera!
      I think just knowing there are special places, and thoughts of visits past and future keeps the connection alive. These days even a simple local picnic is special, so I hope the word reappears, along with the rest of the freedoms.

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      1. PICNIC wasn’t a nice word…at the time. It was a word that had inverted commas around it. It was the first step of coming together with up to only 10 people or 2 bubbles could come together long as you were 2 metres apart and wore masks. Plus only OUTDOORS, no bathroom use inside with the other bubble. Delta loves “closed spaces”.
        People hated it, and it was easy toget into trouble with other bubbles overlapped, especially if you chose the beach or popular places. People would dob others in and police warnings!

        Many others found the dynamics was all wrong, no one had much to say, except talk about lockdown. As social distancing and masks…enough said!

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  3. Those are some great images. It’s apparent Diesel knows how to have fun AND relax! I did not realize dingoes were so big. They appear to be more muscular and greater in size than our coyotes.

    I do not really think about places to visit or people to see. At this point in life, I’m content wherever I land. As you said, a “simple local picnic” can be special. Forrest and I often grab a nice, cold beer at the end of the day and take the buggy out to the orchard and leased property for a leisurely drive. Retirement for now, is finding little pleasures around home.

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    1. Thank you… as is always the case with me, photos are only intended to convey the tone of the time & place. Dingoes vary depending on diet and habitat. The two we saw on the beach were healthy coastal dingoes. A couple of times we saw another near the road adjacent to the golf course that appeared older and scruffier.
      Despite our fondness for excursions, we have a cushion in the bedroom plus a matching sticker on our caravan, with the words… All Paths Lead to Home. Another way of saying… there’s no place like home! Similar to you, at home we’ve been known to grab a couple of cool drinks at the end of the day, wander out the back where the caravan is parked, sit on the caravan step and admire the view of the hills.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a few, depending on mood. You know my chief Happy Place at Griffiths Lookout, a place where you can empty the mind and absorb the huge silence and clean air. Far Beach in Mackay, with great wide flats of dark wet sand at low tide, and ribbons of water in the distance against a backdrop of Round Top and Flat Top islands. Places of my distant childhood that I’ll never see again, but which are imprinted on my mind’s eye still, sharp and clear after 50 years…. I’m not generally a nostalgic person, which is perhaps as well, considering how very far I am from my roots, but occasionally, memory throws up something especially vivid, evoked by a sound or smell, and then I allow myself to enjoy the nostalgia. And then on.

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    1. Griffiths Lookout is a special place, and it was kind of you to mention it to us. Similarly, I now have the image of Far Beach in my mind for a future visit. That’s the magic of those early indelible imprinted times & places, we take them with us wherever we go, and without them we would not experience the pleasure of nostalgia.

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  5. Your photos tell the love you have for the place. Thank you for sharing them & Australia is beautiful all over …. Victoria has a special place in my soul and always will as I arrived here 28 years ago and have loved living here.
    I’m praying that your ‘place’ stays the same and new developments don’t spoil it. Wide open spaces and your soul blending in with what is around u is very precious ❤️

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    1. Like you I’ve travelled around Australia, and also have a real affection for Victoria… so many wonderful places. But Hawks Nest is different… it’s the word Kate used… imprinted. I have always felt very at peace there, for me it’s a healing place. I just can’t contemplate the impact that scale of development would have.

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  6. This post really made me stop and think. Where do my thoughts go? Where is my special place? There are lots of places that I have loved, but my special place is Wagga Wagga…in 1958. I was four and newly arrived from Hungary, yet the neighbourhood kids took me in and shared a glorious world of the imagination with me. I tried to find the house we lived in back then, but the city had changed so much and nothing was familiar any more, but my memories are still bright. I was happy in that Wagga.
    Thank you for triggering such an interesting meander into the past.

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    1. A beautiful memory, well worth revisiting. Having grown up in a country town in not too different times I can imagine it… at a similar age all the kids in my street played together and were welcome at all the houses. I enjoyed a visit to Wagga in 2016, despite the changes it’s a nice place.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! That’s exactly what it was like, Dale. They drew me into this little gang despite being an outsider who couldn’t speak a word of English to start with. They gave me friendship and affection. And acceptance. -hugs-

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