My absolute favourite times are those when I wake early, creep downstairs without waking my youngest (my shadow) and have some quiet time alone, waking up my mind, my joints, my bones. This is when I finally read. The delicious kind of reading. Uninterrupted. Read in full, with time to research and reflect on what you've read, kind of reading. The heart full, soul fed kind. If I can squeeze in some housekeeping into that 'me time' then all the better. Sometimes, when life has been 'drive you crazy' busy, two loads of washing and a clean toilet before 7am is so very welcome that it makes you glassy eyed. And then, back door wide open, a real coffee freshly made and in hand and the slowness, the realness, of watching the clothes you hung on the line all before 7am moving gently in the breeze, it stirs those glassy eyes once more. The subtle back and forth of the tide in view with the scent of freshly hung washing is mesmerising. Water almost spills from my eyes as I watch the sun dancing on that washing line, casting shadows on the patchy lawn withered by the fun and gusto of my two offspring who frequently disperse their energy out here. The sunshine makes me think of my other half - my fatherland. How I miss him so, like a lump in the throat that will not shift. I hope he misses me as much I do him, I hope? The colder breeze harshly reminds me that the Gold Coast is far from here, the coldness seeping into my bones under bare feet, another tell-tell sign. Once again, the familiar restless is stirring, keeping on waking me suddenly, for weeks now. Less hours slept means less hours needed and so the restlessness grows and grows in strength, metastasising cruelly. The cure? To write. To find alone time. To rest - quietly. To strip back to the simplest of ways. To watch life moving in the breeze, surrendering to the tide. Sometimes, all of this requires silence, abscence, the need to disappear, to disengage. Even if it is just for a short time. I have finally come to understand this as a service to self, 'getting the engine checked' if you will. I hear the whispers, 'Check your engine!' and the whispers prosper and quickly I hear further words ... 'before the internal damage is irreparable'. Irreparable. Broken. Damaged. Hurt. Unworkable. Spent. Before any of this, before the deadline is reached, there is the gasp for breath. So there is quiet, there is stillness and there is writing. This. This. This. And I am greedy for more. Phone calls and messages and texts and demands and reprimands come at me naggingly, like a naughty puppy biting at my heels. Today there is stillness and breathing. In and out. in and out. Swaying, slowly swaying and moving in the breeze.