Ashes Tour 2009

Grandchildren paddling out beyond the break and daughters gambolling like seals in the shore breaks: Pop takes his last swim out there where the bottom drops off the bar.

We’d gathered to honour a wish, with no script, and no sense of what is actually meant to happen. There was a sense, though, that these were the memories for so many: the Mollymook days  – when the need to knock off on time to ‘meet someone at the club,’ or the lessons in dealing with the beach were passed on to generations. The Mollymook days – where family had come to share the beach and the sense of holiday fun; and where they all had uploaded a gallery of shared and personal memories which deserved a reprise.

The threads of this tapestry are so interwoven and rich that, for those unable to be there, their thread was still there as part of the picture that had been, and is, being woven.

Beach cricket; shouts of encouragement and fun. Family and friends on the sand. Then, as though at a common thought, we moved to watch as they swam beyond the break, and then we stood, watching, the sound of the waves and the sense that this was just as it should be.

There will be footage on Facebook and talk and memories: more Mollymook stories to add to the collection.

In the background, the boat finals begin. Crews jump at the sound of the  gun: bare buttocks sliding easily on wet seats as thighs drive backward and oars claw at the water, butting out through the break to turn and seek the providence of a rising and falling swell.

There’s a timelessness about these beach rituals for most of us.  Sometimes we catch the wave and sometimes it washes over us.

I reckon he would have thought it was ‘real good.’