Destinations Magazine

Local Treasures

By Russellvjward @russellvjward

Some weeks are busier than others. Some weeks requre more effort than most. Some weeks leave you feeling drained.
Sometimes life simply gets in the way.
Then an unexpected treasure reveals itself. A little gem that reminds you why you do what you do, why you choose to live where you live.

Local Treasures

Curl Curl Lagoon.  Photo credit: RussellVJWard

A week to remember
A few weeks ago, my wife had a bit of a near miss.
A major storm hit Sydney mid-week. The following morning, I stood on our back deck and surveyed the scene. We were lucky to have escaped with no damage.
Sarah called me on my way to work less than twenty minutes later. In tears, she struggled to explain what was wrong. I tried hard not to conjure up terrible images in my mind. At the time, I thought our life was about to take a dramatic change in direction - and probably for the worse.
It transpired that a huge ghost gum tree in our garden had toppled over as my wife hung the washing out to dry. Hearing several sharp cracks from the base of the tree, she ran. She didn't hesitate. She didn't look back. She just ran.
As she flew down the steps by our house, the bushy top of the tree fell down around her. Thankfully unhurt, the washing line where she'd stood only moments before was not so lucky, destroyed by the thick trunk which buried itself deep in the sodden ground.
This week she had her 20-week pregnancy scan and I was on tenterhooks for days. The events of the week before no doubt had something to do with it. That feeling that life can throw up so many unexpected twists and turns. The reality that life can change so quickly.
The scan however was great and we have an amazing little boy or girl growing away.
Welcome relief
The weekend after the week-that-was, we found ourselves sat on the sand by a small protected lagoon at Curl Curl, a suburb on the Northern Beaches.
Our dog, Milo, swam after his tennis ball in the water as my wife and I lazed in the late afternoon sun.
In the distance, a dog played in the lagoon's shallows, surfers carried their longboards over the sand, and a flock of gulls headed out to sea. A band played in the surf club on the north side of the lagoon, led by a female singer with a wonderfully laid-back and mellow voice.
The sunlight created a reflection of the lagoon's ripples over the nearby bushes in a rhythmic, swaying pattern, those same bushes mirrored back on the water's broken skin.
We had music, sunshine, water and wildlife. This small part of the world was at peace with itself and we felt equally contented as the light slowly started to fade on this winter's day.
That's right, on this winter's day.
Twenty degrees, the sun shining, the two of us stretched out on our backs on the sand, our pup swimming around in the salt water.
There aren't many places where winter is like this. It's almost hard to believe unless you know this country well.
It was an unexpected weekend treasure.
Life's little treasures
The afternoon reminded me how grateful I should be for what I have. How thankful I must be for every passing day that my pregnant wife's health is on track. And how lucky I am to experience environments like these surrounded by my young and growing family.
As time passes, I've become a true believer in taking stock of what you have at home and savouring precious moments like this simple treasure by the beach.
But you don't have to live by the beach or be able to doze under a winter's sun. It doesn't really matter where you are or what you have. You may think my life journey a touch extreme, maybe yours is less so, but so what?
Whatever your deal, whatever your story, it still pays to take a deep breath, slow down, and have a long, hard look around you.
Think about where you live and what you do. Remind yourself of the reasons you are where you are and the things that make it particularly special to you.
Now do me a favour and share what you're thinking. 
Tell me about the little treasures in your own particular locale that make you realize just how lucky you are.
It might be a location, a time of day, an event or maybe a scene out the kitchen window.
Tell me about that thing (or things) that make living where you are so special.
And share that local treasure below.
[For fun, next week we'll do the reverse and look at the not-so-good.]
Competition reminder: The picture above was taken with my new Cybershot camera and you still have until this Friday (29 June) to win your own new Cybershot camera which I'm giving away.
Make sure you go to the link here to enter and share your 'bad' photo with me by email or blog post (and don't forget to leave a comment to tell me where to find your entry). Can't wait to see your photos!
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