Each year I retreat for weeks to this little cabin down south. The cabin was once a shed, a garage, built by my grandfather "GaGa"on the block of land he wanted his family to love and call home for many happy years of holidays. As a baby I slept in the modified garage with grandparents, aunts and uncles. We would walk to the local caravan park for showers, or make do with a swim in the basin and a bar of so-called "seagull soap" that was supposed to foam up and clean you in salt water.
As the family grew GaGa built a new house for himself and my Mardi. The cabin became the holiday retreat of my family and cousins. Ten people in a tiny shack, bursting out of the seams, tumbling out of bed for breakfasts of bacon and eggs on the barbecue before a day of swimming, fishing, bike riding and long walks to the shops for an ice cream. Night times were spent sitting around a fire gazing at the milky way, finding the Southern Cross and counting shooting stars. We would listen to the adults spin stories until the effects of beer and whiskey made them tired and nod off in their chairs.
In later years Mum and Dad moved down there. They renovated and made the holiday house a home. I was worried that everything would change - and of course it did. Change is the only certainty in life. Mum and Dad made a beautiful home for their family, my 92 year old grandmother has her own "granny flat" downstairs. Mum made the home full of love, long dinners, wine and family. She is not with us physically now but her spirt and the stormy soul of my grandfather circle the earth and water and are felt in the foundations.
The little cabin was done up as part of the renovation but it retains it's rustic beach shack feel. For the last 20 years my little family sleeps within the fibro walls under the tin roof. Five of us and the dog in the tiny shack.
This little cabin is my island. When I am swamped by the demands of the everyday, ship wrecked and tossed in the waves of work, children and domestic necessity; I know that for a few restful weeks each year I will find my island, I will escape from the churning sea and rest easy. Long days of reading books, doing crossword puzzles, watching my children swim and grow. I fall into this little bed, in this little cabin and sleep the sleep of one blessed to have two bedrooms and a lot of love in her life.