You walk along the campsite’s edges, sprawling onto Mason Smith’s Road like overgrown grass. Gravel flicks back up against your calves as you waltz down in flip-flops, before you fling them aside and your toes seep through soft sand. You trace footprints through the sands, following their every course, leaving your own mark. You map yourself along the shoreline, through volcanic rocks, through reefs and dilapidated jetties. You pass houses you always wanted, and pass spots where you used to dig and play. The sandcastles have long blown away.

 In the distance, you can see Phillip Island and Seal Rock, sprouting from wading waves into pale grey clouds. You can see the ten kilometres of azure water, a basin for dolphins and seals, weedy sea dragons and great white sharks. You remember your Dad surfing the point, etching his surfboard like a pen across the waves, white water spraying into the air, disappearing. You remember swimming with an inflatable Simpsons doughnut, now long since deflated, waving back at your parents on the shoreline. You remember Alfie, running back from his vigil alongside Mum and Dad, doggie-paddling towards you. Talk, Alfie, you would say, and he would sing along with the splashes on the water. Somewhere in the sands he remained, and you think, I’m sure he is still singing, here, down Balnarring Beach.

You remember the cliffside, and Sienna talking about the light from the Moon. Her, with that glint in her eyes when she knew she was being silly, but was going along with it all anyway. You remember smiling, and thinking, she must think I’m an idiot too. Then you laugh, because you think that maybe you just want to be an idiot with her forever. And you listen to ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’ together as you plunge through seaweed and sand, holding back your hair from the wind and smiling, and thinking, ‘I love you.’ 

You remember New Years and fireworks. You remember skinny dipping and drinks with mates – beers still buried in the sands, a tantalising maybe, an alluring possibility that one day you will be old, and you’ll return to find nostalgic treasures of decades long past, with friends no different to as they were then. You remember standing in the sinking sand with Abdul, the water warm and whispering along its waves. You remember talking about her, and your mistakes. You remember talking about Dad, and where he used to surf, just over there. You remember talking about Alfie, and how he would sing – just like this. 

You remember your back on the sand, your eyes on the stars, and your mind on the water. You remember the waves releasing their white foams upon the shores, shuddering through the sand before leaving again. 

They retreat, and all is quiet again, before they snuggle back up to you once more. You feel the cold whispers on you, and you remember.

Your body is anchored by Balnarring Beach.

Will Hunt

The author Will Hunt

Leave a Response