The French author Marcel Proust once wrote “There are hilly, difficult days that one takes an infinite amount of time to climb, and there are downward-sloping days that one can race down singing.”
I knew I was going to have many singing days when I stared out of the window of the small plane flying low over the Torres Straits, just off the top of north Queensland. The water below was a collage of blue greens and tiny uninhabited islands. I was on my way to work my first nursing agency contract on Badu island. I had grown used to island life in Samoa, where my partner came from. The long, lazy fishing days, the close knit family and community life that comforted me with the feeling of never being alone, and the endless beauty of the surrounding sea.
From the moment the plane touched down on the Badu airstrip and I saw coconut palms fringing the fence line, I couldn’t stop smiling. The two years I’d been in Aurukun on the western side of Cape York, had been mostly “hilly difficult days”, coping with being a long way from family and friends in a harsh environment. I was looking forward to living and working in a quieter environment. There is nothing as restful as being able to look at the sea and what I enjoyed as I walked in through the door of the Badu clinic, was being able to see straight down the corridor to sparkling water.
Singing days can be created or caused by any number of reasons. My Badu six weeks were filled with songs from the sea.
You lucky little vegemite Sharon!
I’m presently working with young people in a community at the top of EastArnhem and ‘SO’ look forward to heading further North in the coming years.
Before I go any further I want to apologise for the spelling and grammar in my comment on you ‘New Chapters’ entry too.
Anyway, I’ve certainly had my fare share of difficult climbing and running down singing days so far, but all in all, my first remote community posting is going well.
Given that I am on one of the Crocodile Islands, when I read of the sparkling water and your “songs from the sea”, I couldn’t but wonder if you can swim in it there?
It’s such a small thing, and yet having grow up 10 minutes from the beach (in Perth WA), not being able to swim here is very frustrating indeed!
Thank you again
Hi Tony god to hear from you…no, you can’t totally swim safely in the Torres Straits either….some locals do but visitors are more wary…you never know when a croc might appear 🙂