Friday, 11 October 2013
on the island
I can think of no other place where the simple freedoms of childhood can still be celebrated quite like they are at Rottnest. With no cars to worry about, the streets are safe for the littlest among us to cruise on their bikes from sun up to bedtime. Darcy found his cycling legs, which had finally grown long enough to mount his bike a full two years after he had mastered the whole balancing business, and ranged over half the island with us. Mostly we saw him disappearing around the corner in the morning with a brief wave and a curt "I'm going for a ride." By the end of the week he was tearing through puddles and jumping over piles of sand on his little red bike - he even mastered a skiddy, tearing to a halt in the mulch on the home stretch.
Quinn held Thea's hand as they traveled around the island together behind Grant's bike. Still too young to tolerate a helmet, it was her first introduction to the world of bikes (and my first time back on one since her birth - I was just a little saddle sore) but the perfect environment for some low speed cruising sans headwear.
A vintage Balinese sarong served as shade and sling for some impromptu beach naps. I waded with Thea snuggled close around the rocky coastline, surprising orange legged crabs as I picked my way through piles of storm tossed flotsam. The boys discovered a new passion for collecting rubbish, and brought home boxes full of rusted bottle caps they intend to transform into art.
There were days running free between the Grandparents' houses, a sun drenched afternoon climbing trees with their cousin, and plenty of moments for a quiet cup of tea and a stitch or two on our verandah. There was even a meal to ourselves at the pub (our first date since Thea's birth - she was asleep at Nana's cottage just next door).
A week filled with just enough salty air, sandy feet and sunshine to see us tumble home a happy heap of washing and memories.