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We have been travelling for about 4 months now and really, this planet earth is fabulous. How blessed we are to be here and to enjoy all she has to offer. We currently reside in Crete in the seaside town of Agios Nikolaos in a delightful little apartment right on the water, over looking the Agean, the mountain ranges beyond and the town centre just 5 minutes walk away.
As a child I always dreamt that I would one day live on a beach – bugger visiting for 1-2 weeks, no, my calling was to live smack bang with beach and ocean as my front garden. Yep this was to be my destiny.
And I have been truly blessed to live most of the past 17 years in Sydney if not right on a beach then at least close enough to see it or run to it in 10 minutes of a morning. Over the years I became somewhat notorious among my friends as a somewhat insane all year round swimmer. Sunshine, rain, wind or snow (slight exaggeration) there is nowhere that I would rather be. The beach and the ocean are my friends and we just have to connect daily. Nat Mur (sea salt) is my constitutional remedy and my name means “of the sea” – perhaps I have no choice.
When I arrived in Australia in 1996 a strange thing happened to me. I have been afflicted ever since and truth be told have no desire for a cure. I was travelling Nsw in a Kombie van with a friend and we happened upon the most extraordinary place. From memory there was a dried up lake, cracked earth as far as the eye could see, emu and kangaroo roamed freely and apart from us not a human in sight. I felt I had arrived in Jurassic Park – the land and the animals felt ancient and I was truly humbled – in the same breath I felt alive and on purpose. I had arrived and I was meant to be here, right now.
My friend and I drifted off in our own directions connecting with ourselves and the land and it was then I noticed that man had already been here -and He had left his bottles, his cans and his cigarette butts and the empty packets. Very upsetting – how could they? Well he wasn’t here now, I was, so I got a couple of bags and picked up all the rubbish until the earth was pristine again.
Well that was the beginning of my rubbishy concerns (note I had never been a thrower but had also never been much of a picker upper-er) and the beginning of my new relationship with the earth. From that day forth it’s been my joy to leave a piece of this earth that I am enjoying cleaner than how how i found it.
For the past 4 years living on Coogee beach Sydney I have rarely left the beach with out picking up at least 5-10 bits of rubbish…easy! Yes I often get irritated and furious at the picnics that are left behind and would love a stand up row with the ignorant ingrate that was physically unable to take picnic remains to a bin. In recent years I have even fantasised of creating a festive day during the midst of summer where each household in Coogee would empty a bag of their household waste on the beach – letting it rot there for a whole day and seeing how the visitors would react? (In my perhaps simple mind it could not be Coogee residents that are the trash leavers) what would the visitors do…sit and sun themselves amongst the rubbish, complain to someone? Pick up the trash? Such a fabulous trashy fantasy. And, least you stress each household would return to recollect their trash at the end if the day – beach clean – point made. I will keep you posted on that one!
So back to the present and here we are living right on the most delightful little beach at the north end of Agios Nikolaos – a beach that seems to be used all day long by locals – beautiful swimming spot and perfect for hanging out in the heat and enjoying the quite stunning view.
And for the last 2 days I have watched them sit there, play there, bathe there surrounded by rubbish??? How can they do it? Do they not see it – is there no pride in this beautiful land.
Well I can’t sit in rubbish, so bugger it, I got up early and cleaned the entire beach – honestly I was happy to do it. You see we plan to stay here for the next 10 days and I plan to spend at least 2 hours per day enjoying that gorgeous beach. Yet this is also my planet and my responsibility – I am grateful for this earth, I am privileged to live and walk upon it, and I shall clean her wherever and whenever she needs help.
So I encourage you if you read this rant to do the same – one person in any situation can make a huge difference. And your actions will always teach others. Teach your children that the earth is theirs to respect, look after and clean. Of course when we realise our connection to everything these things are simply known and we act accordingly.
My next rant will be on the collective pain body of countries where smoking is insidious. Can there be any other explanation? Probably has something to do with the rubbish…
Light Nem x