I am bursting out of my skin anticipating writing this article. I had the most wonderful chance encounter with a stranger on my beach walk this morning and I would love to share it with you. Call it serendipity, call it a coincidence, call it what ever you like, I call it human connection and an awesome experience, and it has fuelled my inspiration!
I packed my new colourful backpack ready to cycle to the coast. From there I power walked along the top path, admiring the spectacular sea view. I am very blessed to live in such a magical scenic place boasting some of the best beaches in the world. I made it almost to the end of my planned turn around spot and I see an elderly man with his fluffy old black and white dog. Spontaneously I say hello, patted the adorable soft pooch, and soon conversation flowed.
Some of you may know that I am planning a trip to Scotland around mid year to visit some friends and to also take a look at Isle of Skye, so I was very pleased to meet a Scottish gentleman who could give me some tips; my random encounter turned out to be a serendipitous moment in time.
Jack, of around 80-ish, walked with a straight spine, and a twinkle in his eye. On hearing my news I was planning to travel to Scotland, he highly recommended I take the train from Edinburgh all the way to Inverness and then all the way across to Isle of Skye. What a wonderful suggestion! A train journey! He then told me he had met his wife on this very train ride. The weather had been rough, a cold winter, but he felt compelled to take the journey; and just by magical chance he met a wonderful Australian lady; whom he later married and moved to Australia to reside with her here in Cottesloe, Perth.
He had enjoyed a wonderful 27 years of marriage (so far) and loved his wife dearly. She was 87 and alive and well and enjoying retirement. He told me of his experience learning how to paint watercolours, where he won prizes and awards. I love watercolours so I was very interested in his story. We talked about lots of different things and then parted ways with a smile and a promise to meet for a cup of tea.
I love the way a quiet walk along the coast can become an enlightening experience. I am now very inspired to take this train trip in Scotland, perhaps I will meet my soul mate like my old mate Jack? Who knows! But I do know I will be dropping by for that cuppa and a chat with my new friend.
I then saw a man arranging the back part of a car which clearly was a travelling backpacker. I said hello and enquired about his journey. He tells me he is French and travelling with his girlfriend, who at that moment was swimming in the beach, while he was fiddling around on some rare internet connection (I imagine). Together they had driven across Australia from Sydney to Perth. They had 2 days left in Perth and then it was back to a freezing cold France. He told me his experience was absolutely amazing. I imagine it was. Driving across Oz is an epic journey spanning many thousands of kilometres. Long stretches of red dirt, dust and twirling spinnakers; there is always something to see even when there isn’t. I love road trips. Another spurt of inspiration.
Eventually after all my random chats I made my way back to the beach for my swim; I happily dived into the ocean ready for my daily salt therapy. I floated on my back and felt relaxed and at peace with myself and the world. As I let the natural flow of the waves roll over me, I could hear the twinkling of white sea shells, rolling and tumbling with the tide, a calming tinkling, subtle, a soothing sound balm. I felt happy, inspired, relaxed, and jubilant.
Jamming in a quick read of my latest fave book “Hello NY~an Illustrated love letter to the five boroughs” by Julia Rothman (you can check her site out here), I wanted to stay all day and finish reading this divine book. Her illustrations are simple and direct and colourful and awesome, and learning more about NYC then I ever have before made me feel like jumping on a plane and visiting this cool eclectic city, once again. But no, I had a yoga class to go to!
So off I cycled to yoga and my new gym, where I ran in late, and soon got into the calming horizontal zone. I enjoyed the class and then made my way to the river foreshore for an impromptu solo picnic. I had collected a few things from the shop after my class and made my way to the river. I plonked myself down on my beach towel, not far from families and other day trippers making the most of the sunshine and school holidays. I watched dogs darting into the water to collect balls, and children bend back and cartwheel their way across the lime green grass. I read the paper, and continued reading my book and nibbled on cherries. It was just perfect. Being in the moment, enjoying it, relaxing into it, and appreciating my free time; I was certainly making the most of it!
From one day to the next our moods can change. Only the day before I had shed a tear in a nearby spot, having a forlorn moment on my afternoon walk, missing my lovely Mum. When the tears come, I simply let them roll down my face when they feel the need to. I let them flow, then wipe them dry, then get back on with it. It felt good to feel at peace, a day later, to feel happy and content and pleased with life.
Inspiration is everywhere if you go look for it. And sometimes in life, if you are lucky, it will come and find you!
When my Mum was lacking in inspiring ideas, she would often head out the door for a scene change, some fresh air and a new perspective. Often a chance encounter with a stranger would generate a new idea and she would be off again, making, creating and bursting with juicy inspiration. Turns out I am much the same!
Thank you to all the random people I meet that fuel my inspiration! Hooray!
Yours in quirkiness,
What has inspired you recently?