Broome time and big country

A few days ago we got back from ten sun-drenched days in Broome. Stepping off the plane onto the tarmac was a lesson in light. Strong, bright, seeping into my bones until my spine straightened, the winter weight of these cold days lifting.

We're back now and looking at these photos I can almost taste the sun, that searing heat only northern Australia brings. I grew up in Western Australia, so the red dust and deep blue of the Kimberley is a home coming like no other.

Every day at dusk I'd turn like a homing pigeon towards the horizon and watch the sun dipping into the ocean. Evenings stretched, Cable Beach tinged gold in the fading light. Surfers chased their last wave before night fall, and I remembered things from childhood long forgotten. The smell of hot chips and vinegar. The big stretching sky and the whole world still for the moment the sun slides into the ocean.

On the plane I started chatting to a woman about our kids traveling with us. Her two golden haired girls in primary school and my two boys under three. She watched the Kimberley rise up, big country stretching away under the aircraft's wings as we descended, and spoke of 'Broome time'. 

A space where things slow, the unimportant falls away and your feet spread, each toe connecting to the ground, free from shoes and the stress of always having to be somewhere, and on time.

She and her girls had been in Perth visiting family. As the plane wheels touched the tarmac I watched them collectively breathe out, shrug off the big city experience like an ill-fitting coat, their laughter leading us onto the tarmac and into the heat.

In those Broome days we shed our own winter skins. Divested ourselves of colds, work, traffic, and the omniscient need to always be doing something. What is that? When did being crazy busy all the time become a badge of honor? Why is endlessly multitasking so great? 

Broome time worked its magic on us. We slowed down like an unwound clock. The days became book-ended by early and late beach swims, then fresh fish off the boats, ice-cream, and watching crabs dart in and out of rock pools at low tide. 

My boys loved it. We came back more alive. The heat and light singing in our bones.


  1. Such beautiful, beautiful writing. It was such a pleasure to read. I am well accustomed to 'Island time' and Broome time sounds similar. I have a new found desire to visit!

  2. Thanks for the lovely comment Kirsty, we had such a great time!



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