We saw an Albatross as we crossed Broken Bay! It was a juvenile Black-browed Albatross sitting on the rolling waters of the bay as Mikey, Bee and I sailed from Wagstaff into Pittwater. It took flight as we neared and circled the boat once then headed out to sea. It was the first Albatross I've seen on the trip and possibly the last.
It was wonderful to arrive into Sydney in style, under sail. Although, instead of making a landing straight away at Palm Beach, the northern most part of Sydney, I decided to include one more National Park in the trip and spent a day and night on the boat in The Basin in Ku-ring-gai National Park with Mikey and Bee. These two gifted, unique, generous and quirky souls have been my biggest support over this three months of walking and I'm grateful for their never failing enthusiasm, engagement and encouragement.
I went up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse to mark the occasion. Looking north I could see the headlands of Bouddi National Park and the Central Coast. I imagined seeing all the way north along my path of the last three months to the lighthouse on Cape Byron, approximately 750 kilometers away. It felt pretty darn great!
It was here in this bed room, where I am writing tonight, that I spent so many years sick with ME/CFS. Being here now is powerful having actively remembered so much of my illness over the last three months. The memory of the struggle I had year after year to get through each day is palpable on these four walls, like old peeling paint on a prison cell. The dreams I had while I lay sick in this bed, of health and freedom, also hang in the air. A yearning like the persistent vibration of a flat note in a minor key. Echoes of the persistent efforts I made and the efforts of my family to make life as rich as possible remain too. This sadness isn't erased by my successful return but my ability to look at the years of illness with deep compassion and acceptance has increased. The extent to which I feel joyous now on achieving this goal is an exact measure of the pain and desperation I felt over so many years. It makes me think of all the people out there now, still ill with ME/CFS, with similar dreams of health imprinted on the walls of their rooms. People striving to live well with diminished resources, living lives which are rich and frustrating at the same time. I sincerely hope that each of you finds meaning and peace in your current circumstances and also find the key that opens the possibility for increased health again in your life. All strength to all of you.
Palm Beach to Clareville - 8 km
Life's a Beach Walk total - 764 km