It’s a story about people in a small seaside town. There’s unwanted development looming, rumours milling, and old superstitions getting remembered. And, of course, a boy and a girl. Intro:
You can forget things at BluestoneBay, you can forget that somewhere in places near and far thousands and millions and billions of people rush around in collective busyness. You can forget that you have responsibilities, appointments, schedules and day plans and year plans and life plans. It’s easy.
Bluestone Bay faces the great Pacific Ocean, its crescent of glittering white sand catches the sunrise every morning and it’s cold, bluestone boulders thaw as the day warms, their large, dark faces suck up the sun’s heat greedily like sponges till lizards come and bask idly while they can, till their blood warms and they romp off again into the crackling heath.
The wind whipping up the surf far out to sea carries the scent of that rich saltiness, the freshness and now and then as it stirs along the hidden paths and up the hill between the massive boulders it brings the hazy, dreamy smell of the warming vegetation and the drying sand, and wisps away the lingering mists.
You can sit here and dream, imagine, wonder. You can think, or you can just ponder nothing at all as the waves keep coming in and their sound, though they must be crashing fiercely where they hit the rocky headland, the sound here is calm and rhythmic, soothing.
Hours are like minutes, and minutes are like hours. You can forget you were craving, whatever it is you were craving. You can be alone with the rusty kites who circle above and wait for a meal to show itself as they cry to each other with a faint keo-rik-ik-ik.
The odd car might go past, down the road from Helidon to Ormeer, but they won’t stop. It’s almost desolate. Empty. No construction, no man-made element can be seen in any direction, except for one old, dilapidated, weatherboard house sitting down towards the headland so overcrowded by the taller banksias, casuarinas and other scrubby shrubs and so faded it seems as much a part of this place as the bluestone boulders themselves.
The path to the beach is steep and barely visible, the boulders form awkward holds to aid in the descent. On the beach the air is still, beautifully so to the ears harassed by the gusts above. The water is icy to the toe. Thank goodness for warm woollen sweaters and jeans that don’t mind getting sand in their hem.
It’s a nice walk, around the crescent of the bay. Long and restful. Then the sand ends and the boulders take over completely, out to the tip of the headland. At the very tip, if you climb over the great rocks and risk the surging sea, you can look south and see the next part of the coastline, and houses between the blue-green and purple-grey trees that dip down with the two meeting mountains, making a soft valley down to the sea, where there are boats at anchor. The town’s lights go on as the evening comes, Blue Gully, a pretty little place. A town with people who have lives and things they do everyday, and plans, and pressures, and all those reasons you’re here now come flooding back. It’s late. The car’s back up by the road. It’s time to go back.
One last step across the warm stones, one last stroll on the silver sand, slowly brushing through the scented heath, into the warm car. The lights, the door, the seatbelt. The moon is beautiful. A light goes on at the little weatherboard house. It’s time to go back. The engine, the gears, the steering wheel. The sigh.
That’s Bluestone Bay.