I did something different on New Year’s Day – 1st January, 2012. I walked the length of the Esplanade in Cairns, Australia where my family resides.
My first walk of the year you might say. Quite exhilarating.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon and dusk was approaching fast when I took the long walk past the marina, lovely lush green trees and lawns, people fishing and jogging and others just enjoying the peace of the 1st day of 2012.
I took photos along the way which I always do wherever I go because you never know what your camera can capture. The light is the big thing with taking photos – anytime, anywhere. So this walk was no exception.
I took in the sights and sounds of the seafront as I strolled along the cemented walkway. I guess my photos will remind me of those captive personal moments. It was a spur of the moment decision and I was glad I did make the decision to walk. Don’t do that in Port Moresby – a pity really but nevermind.
A walk is a great way to reflect and this being the first day of the new year, 2012, I thought about possible resolutions that I can adopt. I wanted to be as realistic about these resolutions and that is difficult to fathom sometimes because each day is different. Besides implementing the resolutions is something else. One has to be committed and really be honest about what is real and what is perceived in terms of setting the resolutions in the first place. Well, a reflective walk in my humble opinion is an excellent start.
I thought of the year that has just passed, 2011, and realised how fortunate I am to be able to fly to Cairns and spend time with my family and also to get some much needed relaxation.
That’s not to say that my corner of Port Moresby isn’t up to the task of being a relaxing place but sometimes a change of scene – to get away physically and go to another place is just the tonic one needs to recharge one’s batteries. Also looking back I acknowledge how much life has changed or is it I that has changed much? I think both but under different circumstances throughout the year 2011. One thing I was sure of and that was the 2012 is going to be a really great year on many fronts – I could feel it in my spirit.
We don’t realise that our lives, and we only have one, are so tied up in what we call work or our ‘day jobs’ that often times we forget that parts of us die a natural death everyday because we neglect those parts. We need to air them out every now and then starting with our minds.
What are these parts of us? These parts are the more spiritual aspects of our lives or us such as company, laughter, pleasure from walking, views of places we think we know but we don’t and so on. It is only when we stop to take in the views, the features that we miss that familiar things take on a totally different meaning – it’s like we are seeing them for the first time.
Take time to think about the people we live with, interact with, work with etc and what happens is that we suddenly see them in a different light – we suddenly find the parts of their lives we can connect with. This is that opportunity for realisation that no man/woman is an island. I promised myself to do this – to see each person I meet as a blessing and likewise.
I began to think about my family and the things I need to do to connect with them this year. Of course, as you and I know, somethings are easier said than done.
But without falling into a cliched existence one must make the effort to make things happen such as finding the parts of our lives that have fallen through the cracks, fish them out and dust them and give them a brand new lease on life so that we can focus on the progressive and add value to our own and others’ lives.
On my way back to the poolside and the families who were gathered there to celebrate the first day of 2012, I stopped by a sweets and icecream shop and shamelessly indulged my sweet tooth with some creamy delectable morsels.
There were others who stopped by this icecream oasis to indulge their sweet tooth too.
It was so peaceful and private to just sit there and enjoy something without gawking eyes, flies and dust.
I had tea and thought about growing up on my beautiful island home in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. We used to have to clear the breakfast plates so fast on New Year’s day in the 1960s because we need to identify places in and outside the house to hide in as it would be ‘dui’ time when it’s high tide and the men would run into all the houses looking for women and girls and carry them kicking and screaming down to the gelegele (beach) then throw them into the swimming pool. This is a natural sea water pool near the jetty.
We also used to have all the cake, scones, buns and fresh bread we wanted on New Year’s day as we would have been baking on New Year’s Eve ensuring that we had everything baked before midnight.
At midnight, 12 sharp, the noise levels would be defeaning as people beat saucepans, drums and anything that could make the loudest noise to herald in the new year.
We would run down to the beach to light the ‘osiri’ (dried coconut leaves). Against the dark skyline, the lit and flaming osiri on the beaches of neighbouring islands and the mainland was a sight to behold. Am not sure if the lighting of the osiri is still practiced on New Year’s Eve annually now.
I had never had the misfortune (fortune) to be carried out kicking and screaming to be thrown into the pool. There were loads of laughter and fun when this happened and everyone always embellished their own experiences.
Looking back on those days, what a journey I’ve made – this is the 21st Century and I am in a foreign land and the place is very quiet. Almost forgotten ‘dui’ time.
I find so much pleasure in taking photos of the things I come across on my walks or trips to various place within and outside PNG. It helps me to remember the memorable moments in my life then later to sit and re-live the experiences when I feel like I need a pick me up. This is why I carry my camera everywhere I go even if I was just going somewhere close. I don’t want to miss a thing.
My pictures tell a story about one special moment or moments that make up that unique experience for me.
The children were still in the pool when I returned from my walk. I also ran into two people were looked really familiar – one of them was a school mate whom I have not seen since we left high school in Milne Bay – now that would be over 30 years!
I felt so blessed and free.