I have the luckiest life. In lots of ways, but one of them is that we have a creek running through our place, one that starts from a spring up in the forest with nothing but forest upstream. When we first moved here, nearly 30 years ago, we used to dip in the creek pretty much every day in summer. In the heat of the day several mums would take the babies and toddlers down to a shady pool and we'd paddle and make little dams and catch guppies and try to lure the shy yabbies into sight and body paint ourselves with ochre and race little leaf boats down the stream.
Then we had drought years for a decade and though the creek never totally dried up, the swimming holes weren't quite so inviting. And kids grew up and life got busier and busier. Until, the other day, after mowing a bit too long in the heat, I decided I needed a dip and realised, it's years since I've done this.
There is something very profound about skinny dipping in a mountain stream. I drift floating in the water, looking up through the leaves of the overhanging trees at an impossibly blue sky, and think: this is life. There are some things I think you need to do at least once every year to keep a sense of perspective, to remember what is important and valuable, to stay sane. And some years, the whole year goes past without me doing them!
So these are my New Year's Resolutions.
At least once this year, I will
Go skinny dipping in a mountain creek
Sleep under the stars
Get pounded by the surf
Go for a daylong beach or bush walk
Sit around a bonfire till all hours
Go to a really good concert
Spend a few days completely alone, including from internet, phone, and radio
Tell everybody I love that I love them, in a way that they actually hear
I had a few more but I edited them out - I'm sticking to Resolutions I'm absolutely going to keep. Are there others you think of to add to the 2012 essential bucket list?