Bones on the Beach

I’m here on the Coral Coast of Fiji. We’ve been here 6 days: 2 days of sunshine, 2 days of deluge and 2 days of cyclonic winds.

The sea swell is huge. It threatens to breach the coral reef that runs out a few hundred metres from shore. Swollen and distorted, the sea level beyond the reef looks higher than the coral lagoon.

This wonderful coral pond, caught between the ocean and the land, with its blue sea stars, sea worms, sea snakes, angelfish, trevally, sea snails, hermit crabs. It’s abundance.

Wild weather from our holiday in Fiji

I’m Australian and therefore unused to this density of life. I’ve grown up drifting down long silent highways of enormous starry skies. Then being scared shitless by a lone roo! Or fishing for hours for only a few bites. I come from a big, scary and silent place. No wonder we all clamber together in noisy cities by the coast.

Here in Fiji where there’s so much life there must also be death. The shore is strewn with pieces of whitened coral. They look like little bones scattered around an exposed grave. I’m reminded of Fiji’s history of cannibalism; paradise for sure.

The distant Pacific Ocean is really smashing the reef. Thoughts of tsunami news footage.

Life gets wild and stormy. Things can turn ugly quickly and but for the grace of god you’re gone. Storms come and you hunker down in your ship and hang on. Silly thoughts for a holiday.

But a few days later my son will cut himself, get an infection, and require 3 nights in hospital. At those times you yearn for the safety of the shore. To feel stuck in the endless middle ground of life. In the illusion of safety.

After the storm I tiptoe out into the lagoon. Jumping startled at the equally startled fish. Flinching when my foot lands on a sharp rock. Awestruck when a school of fish dance around my legs. Walking this thin blue line between the wild ocean and the placid shore.

Trying not to think too much before the moment is gone.

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