As we drove into Apollo Bay, I realised that I hadn’t been back there for nine years. Nine years!
And it wasn’t necessarily for the reasons you might think. Just because I got married there, had a family holiday there when my second son was a baby, or because of any of the other happy memories from the town.
In fact, as we drove down the road from Forrest into Skenes Creek, I felt nothing but joyful familiarity towards all the places I had spent time at in the past. I remembered just how much I loved this area and wondered why I hadn’t been back until now.
I wonder whether my subconscious has kept me away for my own emotional safety? Maybe it was only now that I felt Apollo Bay was a reasonable destination for a day trip? It hasn’t even featured as an option for the last nine years, because it always felt too far away. I was so used to it being a holiday, rather than a day-trip destination, that it was outside of my consideration.
But now? Now I was ready. I loved seeing all the familiar streets and houses and cafes. I loved seeing all the new places and buying our new sun hats in the old familiar gift shop. I didn’t even mind all the traffic and all the tourists. I knew that I would happily live there, if I could afford it. I knew that this was where my soul feels at home.
I didn’t love spending $70 on lunch, but I loved sitting in the cafe and watching the foot traffic go by.
It was a glorious sunny day, with a cool breeze blowing off the ocean and the boys were crazy enough to get in the freezing water, after the surf demolished the fort they’d built.
I lost myself in the sound of the surf and the feel of the spring sunshine on my skin. And then I made this video:
It was so nice to feel at peace with this town. To know that it wasn’t besmirched by all the emotional trauma I’d been through. That it was still a place of sun, surf and happiness. I can’t wait to go back.
Do you have a place that’s been marred by unhappy associations?