A few weekends ago we had an ‘interlude’.
It was gentle, cosy, inherently interesting, and relaxing as all interludes should be. Let me tell you about it.
We found our way to Platform 1, where the train was waiting. Tim said, “Three minutes to go”, to which I replied “Three minutes to adventure”. It really did feel like we were going an an adventure.
We’d packed our bags with as much electronic gadgetry as we could fit: iPads, iPhones, Kindles, laptops, and headphones. It meant we could play games, read, listen to music, write notes/emails/blog posts/discussion board posts/feedback on student assignments.
We could also just sit and gaze across the countryside flashing past. Or talk to each other. We had the possibilities covered.
I took a photo after we settled in.
That gave me an idea and every hour of the trip I took another photo to mark the time, but also to capture the countryside we were travelling across. My hypothesis was that it wouldn’t change much in the 11 hours we travelled. I didn’t take into account that it would get dark so early and so for the final hours of the trip the windows only reflected myself looking out.
We had left Melbourne on one of the very few cloudless days that city seems to enjoy each year and travelled under clear skies for most of the trip. I stepped off the train at Goulburn station and felt the chill in the air. Weatherzone said it was 6C there. Brrr.
We arrived in Sydney in the midst of a cold snap. Well, not cold so much as arctic. And raining. Our hotel was only a ten minute walk away, we dumped our bags, grabbed our cameras and headed out to see the lights of Vivid.
Sunday morning. Up at 5:30, shower, breakfast, quick walk to Central Station. Train.
Again, I took a photo every hour (or so) of our return journey.
At some point in the afternoon I said to Tim “It’s Sunday” and that word felt strange in my mouth.
It didn’t feel like any day. I felt outside of time, even though I marked time by taking a photo every hour.
It felt – it was – an interlude. A period of time outside of the norm, the regular, the usual. It was no day. It just was.
The bigness of the landscape – the far away horizon, the expanse of sky – was perfectly accompanied by Ludovico Einaudi’s Time Lapse in my headphones. If you haven’t listened to it while travelling across the landscape, I highly recommend it.
We chatted; I marked assignments; I gazed out of the window feeling the beautiful music wrap around me … and then I read the book Tim had bought a few days before (A monster calls) and when it ended I sat and cried.
It was a long way to travel for just over 24 hours in Sydney – and though this is as cliched as ever I hope to get – it wasn’t about the destination.
It was about the getting there and the getting home. Yes … the journey. Or as I prefer to call it … the interlude.
One of my very favourite weekends.