It might have been deep winter, but there were still a flower or two blooming in the garden – a sign of the Spring time to come.
While we’re talking about the Abbey, I’ll post another reflection from the community. How I’d like to be walking those fields now. Hopefully I’ll get to return sometime this year.
In 2019, my yearly visit to the Abbey was in July. As always around this time, it was a bit crisp at dawn, but it was still lovely to be up with the birds.
Now, I’ve come to realise that if I were to ask anyone for guidance during these trying times, it would guidance from this little community, who have chosen to live the secluded life. So I’ve left a little video here for you to ponder on if you will.
One last post on this theme. It’s pretty much winter now so I’d better get a move on! Walking back along the avenue in the opposite direction, you’re faced with the Illawarra Escarpment looming over the bare trees – and the setting moon.
The fig tree and the big paddock was empty this time, but ever splendid on a clear winter’s day.
It’s always lovely to walk through the long grass and contemplate.
Last year, I spent my yearly Jamberoo Abbey retreat in mid-winter. I must say that the early morning starts were very chilly, but there were some glorious, clear mornings with beautiful golden light.
Gerroa isn’t just by the river but by the beach – the glorious Seven Mile Beach that stretches 7.8 miles (or 12.5km) all the way down to Shoalhaven Heads.
It can be a windy beach, but on this day there was hardly a breeze. Perfect weather for families.
One last look at the rolling waves before the drive back to Sydney. With the Gerringong by-pass complete, the journey back was barely an hour 40 minutes now. Such accessibility means that it might not be so serene here in the near future.
I rounded off my winter retreat with a lunchtime visit to the coastal village of Gerroa. It’s an half-an-hour’s drive from the Abbey, and one of my favourite places on the South Coast.
The Crooked River flows through the village. Being a bright and balmy winter’s day, some of the local kids were tempted into the water.
I liked watching the river flow. The colour and the rippling patterns were lovely to see.
Early the following morning (always early starts at the Abbey), I strolled around the rainforest walk.
The path dipped from the cottages to follow the creek.
It was still dark at the lowest level.
The path undulated across the banks of the creek, so I reached the light eventually.
And much further along (away from the rainforest and the creek), there was even sunshine.
It was a lovely way to start the day.
Last year’s visit to Jamberoo Abbey took place in mid-winter. I was up bright and early the first morning to watch the sun rise.
The cattle were in the paddock closest to the cottages, which was a bonus to the photographer.
They looked to be mainly black Anguses, and were busy breakfasting…
When an interloper appeared out of the bush.
The bovines weren’t quite sure of the wombat.
And neither was the wombat completely comfortable to be so exposed. After a few nibbles of grass it wandered back to safety.
The crowning glory to visits to these parts was the view from Bald Hill in Stanwell Tops. It overlooks Stanwell Park Beach, the Sea Bridge, and the greater suburbs of Wollongong in the distance.
Such a view meant braving a few crowds and even a tourist bus, but concentrate on the scenery and even such inconveniences were tolerable.