Bringing colour into December

As I write this from my van it’s raining outside. We’re camped on the edge of a lagoon near Gunbower Island in Victoria and the sky is grey. There’s no sunshine and who knows what the next 24 hours will bring. That’s the unpredictability of nature and, indeed, of life. The heat disappeared an hour ago and made way for persistent summer rain.

But I’m not complaining, far from it. It’s the second weekend in a row since lockdown ended we’ve been out and about in our Journey. How could anyone complain about this view?

When it comes to camping, and the weather, you get what you get. From one moment to the next, life is changeable, unpredictable and all we can do is roll with it.

It was the same last weekend when we travelled to South Gippsland, just for the night. 24 Hours in Port Albert, that’s the title of my latest travel article. I love the place and it’s amazing how much you can fit into 24 hours, without even trying.

Port Albert used to be one of the busiest ports in South Gippsland but these days it’s all about fishing and tourism so this quiet village welcomes travellers with open arms. We parked our rig right on the wharf area, in a designated free RV area, with prime water views.

I caught up with an old school friend who lives nearby and we enjoyed fish and chips from Castim on the Jetty, a fabulous new waterfront kiosk. It was great to support a local business that had struggled to stay afloat during Covid. Their prawn twisters were the best! As we sat enjoying lunch on the waterfront my friend Jane commented on how calm it was. Port Albert, as we were to find out, can get mighty windy.

Later that afternoon we drove into Yarram, a nearby town that’s had a huge facelift during Covid. Facing uncertain economic times a couple of locals commissioned well known street and silo artist Heesco Khosnatan to transform the streetscape and that’s exactly what he did, painting 15 vibrant and colourful murals on walls throughout the town. It’s now affectionately known as HEESCO town and has brought this regional community to life.

That night, back in Port Albert, we enjoyed a peaceful barbecue before a walk out on the jetties. The air was still and the lights from the pier shimmied on the water, it was so calm and mesmerising. Almost too calm.

The following morning I woke to dazzling light breaking through cloud. Change was in the air, I could feel it. Throwing on a coat, I left hubby sleeping and was lulled out to the pier … and then the next pier … and before I knew it I was down at the wharf. I walked the entire length of the town and the foreshore, all still wearing my nightie underneath my coat! Good thing it was only me and the early birds about!

I remember looking up, into the sun and feeling such a burst of love, such gratitude for life, such wonder at our world. My heart was overflowing. Have you ever had those moments of pure joy, that reduce you to tears because of their sheer beauty? Moments that make you feel so alive, so at one with creation. That’s how I felt. It was overwhelming in its intensity.

I stopped, closed my eyes. Stood and breathed it all in.

At the still point

Where the Calm is

In the eye of the storm

Amidst the chaos of reality

There I found myself. (Tusasi Menon)

By the time I got back to the van the colours and the light were disappearing. As quickly as the light had shone through the clouds and lit up the sleepy port, they had darkened. The waters now resembled a rippling and rumbling beast. Such is mother nature’s unpredictable moods.

Then the winds came, so ferocious I thought we would be blown from Oz to Kansas. Trying to pull the pop top roof down caused some colourful language from the other half. Then a huge gust lifted the top and shifted the roof and things fell into place. Hubby, who’s not religious, told me afterwards the Jayco Gods must have been looking out for us. I told him, by crikey, I sure as shit was praying! And someone up above listened.

Life’s rarely perfect. It’s not all sunshine. We all know that as we navigate this strange year. As I type this (one fingered and completely on my IPhone) I’m grateful for it all. Here the only distraction is the cosy sound of rain on the roof of our van and cockatoos in the distance.

The sun will come out again. We’ll sit outside (I hope) and hear the birds, maybe catch some stars if the clouds lift and, if they don’t, life will go on. The sun will still rise tomorrow.

Now, I’m writing again, it’s nearly seven hours after I started this post. It’s nearly midnight. Earlier the rain bucketed down, the winds came and afterwards so did a faint rainbow. Then, as though the angels decided to give us a reprieve during dinner, the clouds morphed to blue sky and sunshine dazzled across the water. The light was beautiful and dinner was another glorious moment to give thanks for.

When grey skies turn to bliss, who needs a five star restaurant when you have a view like this?

What lights you up and brings you joy? Whatever it is, do more of it. Look for the colour amongst the grey. A silver lining amongst the clouds. The empathy amongst the division. Wherever you are, my wish for you is for colour, love and light to fill up your world.

Stay well and don’t let the storm clouds dull your path. Remember the truth of nature, that light always shines through the darkness. Faith always triumphs over fear. And love always wins.

In love and light


Early morning awe in Port Albert

161 thoughts on “Bringing colour into December

  1. Miriam,
    What a fantastic message to accept life just like the weather, as it shows up. I really loved the town that paid to have the murals painted. What a thoughtful response to downtime. As always, your photos bring the whole journey to life. As I am still quarantined, I really appreciate traveling vicariously with you.
    Be well and keep shining your light.
    Someday I will visit.
    Ali

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hello Ali, what lovely words you’ve written here. Thank you so much and I hope your quarantine time will be short and you’ll be free soon to live life fully again. In the meantime you can travel virtually with me anytime! Sending love and warmest wishes your way. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What sort of van do you have? My friends and I got a glimpse of the camper van life when we transported one in 5/6 days from Brisbane to Cairns. It was too much of a mad rush to get there in time. But to renovate a van and travel freely is on my vision board! Love your blend of mesmerising words and beautiful pictures 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you. Our van is a 17 foot Jayco Journey outback. It’s fantastic and has everything we need in it to be fully self contained. Our plan next year is to travel the west coast of Australia. I hope you fulfil your travel vision too!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was such an uplifting post to read, Miriam. So lovely that we are out of lockdown here in Melbourne. It is amazing to hear Yarram has had a facelift this year and it sounds like the community came together to make the most of the situation – and great photos from the area. That fish and chips looks good.

    After living for most of my life here in Melbourne, I still get surprised by sudden changes in weather. Good you got back to the van in time in Port Albert 😀 I hope you are doing alright where you are at home or on the road. Summer is upon us and looks like a nice time to be outdoors after a challenging year. Take care, Miriam 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much Mabel. I agree, it’s great we’re out of lockdown and have the ability to get around again. It’s been a long year and I think we’re all tired and ready to start getting the economy moving again.
      Hope you’re happy and well and life is being good to you. Wishing you all the best as the year ends and a bright and better 2021. Enjoy the summer! x 😊

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  4. Such a beautiful way to look at life Miriam. I felt like I was there with you.
    Yes I completely resonate with you in those awe moments I usually get them when I am diving or floating in the ocean.
    Thank you for your inspiring words

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cath, thanks so much for reading. I have no doubt that you have those same moments, from all the beautiful photos you share on your travels. Life really is beautiful. xx

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  5. Miriam – as always, it is a privilege to follow you on a journey through place, time and mind. I love how your posts go through a variety of colours, feelings, sights and sounds … thank you for sharing them with us. It is a beautiful and poignant reminder that “faith triumphs over fear. And love always wins”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow! Absolutely breathtaking 😍 what brings me joy is seeing art and amazing photography like yours! Super cool that you live in a van and can travel 🤩

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh thanks, it is pretty cool, just wish we could get out in our van more often. But we are lucky. Sorry for the late reply, I only just found your comment. 😊

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  7. Hi Miriam, I am enjoying catching up reading my favourite bloggers. We have had a few extra challenges this month. It is always fun to see how the ‘other side of our planet’ is dealing with Summer weather. Yes, gorgeous view! Fish and chips…….my guilty pleasure. Your joy leaps from the page with “feeling such a burst of love…”I have had moments like this, tears, because of the beauty. Thank you for sharing the breathtaking photos and your beautiful energy makes it all the way over to here.❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, I’m so glad you felt the joy in this post Erica, I remember how much I loved writing it. I agree that it’s fun seeing how the other side of the planet is dealing with life and different seasons. Have a great week ahead my friend. xx 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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