At Byron BayA few years ago, before we had children, Mrs Zen and I separated for a year. The circumstances were different then from where we are now and it marked a low point in life that I had to scrape myself up from. Which I did. I got my life in good shape and in time approached Mrs Zen about a reconciliation.
I was aware then that I would not have been able to offer enough to her unless I had changed, but I did change and she liked what she saw. I visited Australia for a week, and during that week we took a trip to Byron Bay.
So Byron is a special place for me because we had a great trip and rediscovered the friendship that had been the basis of our relationship. We walked on the beach and talked, which we were capable of doing back then. I am not sure whether it was more about not having wanted to have failed than about really wanting to be with her, but it felt like the latter as the sun set over the bay and, when I have the opportunity to follow my heart, I will do that.
It's easy for it to be special: Byron is like heaven on earth--it's a nice, laidback backpacker haven, slowmoving and relaxed, with a fine beach and the same good climate we have here. On my recent trip it blew gales, but generally the weather is fantastic. On the Sunday night, as I relaxed with a beer on a warm afternoon, at the pub that looks out over the sea, I felt--albeit briefly--that life needn't turn out badly for me. (And if I could live in Byron forever, maybe it wouldn't, who knows, but I couldn't, and anyway, I would be as lonely there as I am here, because that is about me, not the place.)
So this time I walked on the beach with M, and it was a different feeling. Of course I didn't have the optimism I had back then, and there is no romance in walking at midday with a mate (no offence to M but he's not my type!). Such is my life, and it feels like a pity that this was as good as it has been for me in a while.