Life’s Simple Pleasures – Picnic in Esplanade Park
The urge to write has been building for a few days now. Really, I shouldn’t have ignored it for as long as I did – but life got in the way, as it always does. I’m terribly sorry.
Sometimes, however, I need a break from writing. I know this blog is mainly for myself and my own reflections and musings and expression, but I do need to take a moment sometimes. A moment to rest, recover, become a bit more introverted and refocus on the here and now. Always, though, before long and without fail, I feel the need to express, the need to purge. Lest I go a bit crazy, if I’m being honest.
Imagine a bottle being held under a running tap – the water flows in, filling and filling the bottle, until eventually it fills to the brim. And then what happens? It over flows. That’s how I imagine my writing – I take life in, one day at a time, experience after experience, memory after memory, and finally I need to over flow – into a post, a poem, a picture. The memories need to be jotted down to make room for new ones. Words flowing out from my fingers onto the page, until the sweet release lets me breathe again.
I’ve got quite a few memories bottled up at the moment – some fantastic ones from this weekend, some that aren’t quite finished being made yet, and one or two that I just feel I need to wait for the right moment to release. But my friend recently lent me an absolutely breath-taking book (which I shall review the minute I’m done), and as is always the case when I read beautiful writing, I feel inspired to write myself.
The other thing going through my head right at this point in time is that most of the memories I have shared with you all lately have been quite epic – large, out of the ordinary occasions that aren’t really part of the ticking along of the everyday . So I thought to break things up a bit I would write about quite a lovely experience I recently had, and one that is definitely one of the more simple pleasures in life.
Last Friday I went on a picnic (a picnic! – the child in me delights again) with my dear friend, Ally. Ally and I were introduced when she started dating Ryan’s high-school friend and work colleague, Kris. We then lived together for a year, and found a shared love of many things, from music, to beer, to our conscientious approach to our diets and lifestyles. Ally is a vegan, so any picnic shared with her would be filled with delicious, healthy and wholesome food – a treat I was really looking forward to.
I bundled up my goodies in my basket, double checked the picnic blanket and essential bluetooth speaker (for dem smooth picnic beats) and set off bright and early to Ally’s place, just 2 minutes around the corner (another fabulous convenience).
She directed me to what I now know is a hidden gem in our area. Esplanade Park is one of those secret, squirrelled away locations – a beautifully quiet place on the banks of the Brisbane River, amongst the suburban grandeur of Yeronga. The majority of the nearby houses are new or newly-renovated, thanks to the floods of ’10/’11, and while the park itself isn’t anything special or fancy, it was hard not to feel at peace when we had the whole place pretty much to ourselves. Plenty of space to lay down my ginormous picnic blanket (best find ever!).
The river flowed past, the sun shone down from a cloudless sky, the breeze tickled our hair off our shoulders, and we set in for a relaxing breakfast. Our spread included coconut yogurt, home made muesli, and fresh berries, along with fresh bread with avocado and some chilli, basil, and garlic fried potatoes that I’d whipped up earlier that morning. It was topped off with some freshly brewed espresso from my home machine (did you expect any less?). I don’t think it would be any surprise to you that when we had eaten our fill our next instinct was to lie back in the sun while we digested our epic feast.
We nattered away about life, love and universe, and enjoyed watching the sunlight splash through the leaves on the gums up ahead. Our peace only being broken by the persistent maggie that thought we might have enough food to share (but we enticed him to enjoy the view with us instead).
Once my stomach had settled down I thought I’d give the swing set my best shot – I don’t remember it making me so dizzy when I was a child?! Perhaps I just need some more practice!
When it was finally time to head home, I did so with a little more peace in my heart.
Tomorrow I’ll write again about one of the more elaborate occasions in life (another lovely wedding that I went to this weekend) but for now, I’ll leave you with this. It’s so easy to get bogged down by work, family, and numerous other challenges life sets you, and it’s easy to feel overcome by ‘first world problems’ when you don’t take the time to slow down and enjoy the more simple things in life. So I’m glad I can share this memory with you all, and remind myself that the simple pleasures in life are some of the best.