Here the Swan River infuses with the sea and holds still for a while. Unoccupied boats are moored and bob on the gentle undulation. Where are the people who sail them? A pier slices the water and on it children practice the rituals of youth. Their play strikes me as huge acts of faith in themselves and the world. I marvel at their sense of adventure and their bravery. Before I stepped onto that pier there would be a multitude of probabilities, possibilities and consequences to consider, not the least of which would be the my position of intruder in a world to which I no longer belong. I suspect that sometimes I think too much. Are other adults watching from the edge as envious as I am? How brave we once were. What spirit we had; how little fear. For the children there is the pier, the water, friends and the invention of something beyond themselves that will soon transform the pier into a battleship, a castle surrounded by a moat, a galleon rising to the surface of the sea after centuries of slumber ... or maybe it is always just a pier?
Now the paddlers, strollers, runners, walkers pass momentarily. A grandfather takes his hesitant grandson to the water's edge. Two little girls pick up stones and sticks and hurl them into the water thereby rendering themselves unbalanced but rise quickly still determined to empty the beach of its pebbles.Two mothers elegantly dressed, wearing sunglasses and wide brimmed hats pass pushing prams. A grandmother demonstrates to her busy brood how to entice Black Swans closer to the shore with bits of bread. Bread, some discover, is more fun to throw at screaming girls. Today all human activities seem elevated to acts of defiance against mortality. The coffee sipped, the crust broken for the seagull or the ice cream licked before it falls onto sandy feet that press the grass of the shore are acts performed in faith; faith that with things as they are, all is well with the world. Perhaps it is? Maybe this is the world; enough of the world for today.