It started as a rough day – with a punctured tyre, I was stranded. It was the year end, long break, and chances of a tyre replacement looked grim.
So there was I, 450 km south of Sydney. In Merimbula. Atop a grassy hill that overlooked lagoon and the town’s famous oyster culture, where row upon row of baskets penned dark lines on the brackish waters of the lagoon.
Thus rendered stationary, I had nothing but time. To stare at the boundless skies and cloistered seas. Time and peace settled. And I sat on the grass, breathed in deep gulps of salty air, stared at a wallaby staring from the woods and smiled…this too shall pass.
It was a line I had uttered on a similar situation, decades back in the hills of the Himalaya. It ushered in waves of nostalgia. I recollected that experience vividly – seated on a cliff overlooking the blue waters of the Teesta, waiting for help.
I realised one day, I shall look back again and smile, thinking of Merimbula. The poet in me had time. It then also got a spark. And I couldn’t stop scribbling, knowing very well that someday, I would long for that moment, my blues losing yet liberating itself with the blues of the skies…
(Saudade: a deep emotional state of nostalgia laced with melancholy longing for an absent something that might never return)
Here in Merimbula,
Where the hills meet the seas
There is at least solitude
In the time that I could lease.
For the city dwellers are far
From the Sapphire Coast that is,
And in that peace, dwells lagoon,
Oysters and a sunset kiss
Here in Merimbula
I walk for long on mangrove trails
Until I reach the sandbar seas
That teem with terns and boatmen sails
Where children seek for Oyster, crabs
And jump on the pier with floats and pails
While someone spots a dolphin shoal,
Or rare those lonely summer whales
Here in Merimbula,
Summer dusks for long
And when it darks, the hills glitter
With here a hope, and there a song.
But soon I return to the cityscapes
My brooding soul, it fetters on
While a shard of me is left behind