Time and Tide Wait for No Man

November 19, 2021
Iain MacLeod

Given our gypsy lifestyle and exiled status waiting for the possibility of getting home to New Zealand (yes, still) we’ve been off grid for much of the past three weeks living out of our spur of the moment purchased camper trailer. Without any access to wifi there’s been days filled with nothing to do but reading, napping, long walks, fishing, eating and dare I admit a possibly unhealthy literage of Australia’s finest Shiraz being quaffed.  

In a life filled with the pressure of feeling the need to answer every email in a comprehensive way within minutes of receiving it, immediately responding to text messages from friends and family or risk causing offence, getting visa work out the door as quickly as possible because ‘that’s what we’re paying you for isn’t it?’, getting impatient if Uber Eats takes 20 minutes to deliver the Mexican takeout (the website said fifteen minutes to deliver and now it’s luke warm, what am I paying you for?), imagine sitting on a beach, camper trailer hitched to the Mitsubishi wagon, a patient modern day trusty and dependable steed and having to wait for the tide so you can rejoin the commercial works. Waiting for the Coral Sea to reach its zenith before imperceptibly turning and sliding back out toward the distant horizon.  

That’s was me for much of the past few weeks.  

The world’s most impatient human forced to sit and wait for the tide, like a Mariner of old before we might be able to ‘set sail’ for a new destination as our road out of our camp site is that same beach.  

Line after line of waves roll in, breaking and hissing up the gently sloping beach. Each one a millimeter or two closer to my beached deck chair sinking inexorably deeper into the soft sand.  

A warm breeze carries specks of soft rain. A spritzer for my skin. 

Telling myself to relax. Forcing myself. Even after five days in our camper trailer, our compact little home away from home, designed more like a space capsule than a tent, going to bed an hour after the sun and rising shortly after it appears, still that need to ‘connect’ with the outside world burns strongly.  

This is how it used to be. Our lives dictated by tides, the sun, the rhythms of Mother Nature. 

For now, it’s just me and my wife in the shade of a tree. She sitting quietly knitting a bag(!) in a warm breeze, the sea moving at its own leisurely pace and an osprey on patrol gliding through the salty air scanning the shoreline for the next tide tossed meal or the scraps left by fishermen that passed before. 

It takes three hours before we can leave.  

Bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss. 

This man is happy to be kept waiting by sun, moon and sea coordinating to let us pass. 

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