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Sydney-Side

Run of rocky shelves at sunrise, with their base on ocean's bed
Homes of Coogee, homes of Bondi, and the lighthouse on South Head;
For in loneliness and hardship -- and with just a touch of pride --
Has my heart been taught to whisper, "You belong to Sydney-side." 
- Henry Lawson (1867 - 1922)


Ten years ago when I was studying abroad in Australia, I was told the phrase "G'day" is genuinely used—because, "Everyday in Australia is a good day." My home was Coogee, a small beach town just outside of downtown Sydney. As a young student studying the country’s art and culture, there was no better place to take it all in than in Sydney. One of my favorite memories: taking in the beauty of the coast along the famous walk from Coogee to Bondi Beach. 
 

The scenes and sounds of the waterways still have an exhilarating effect on me, even after a decade. I remember the salt on the air at first light, as perfectly bronzed bodies did their morning runs, while others sat in the sand, sipping coffee and watching the surfers at sunrise. Stroll a little further, and a quiet, crystal blue cove lined with wooden boats felt somewhat like a secret—until giddy sunbathers trickled in. Turn a corner, and a colorful mosaic staircase seemed the perfect spot for a rendezvous.


Australia

Farther along the shore, a game of cricket roused spectators right next to the coastline's edge. Towering cliffs rose high to a cemetery of sandstone terraces, where wanderers like myself took in the unexpected beauty of ocean views amidst Victorian monuments, spilling out toward the ocean. At the Bondi Baths, couples waded hand-in-hand into natural rock pools, waiting for a thrilling swell as waves crashed against the walls. Each vignette is a paradigm of humanity and nature, totally at ease with each other.


Bondi Beach

As the sun set, locals always waited for the 'green flash'—when the sun was almost entirely below the horizon, and if the light was just right, the barest edge would shine the most sublime shade of green. To witness this pure magic made by light, it was always a moment to appreciate another good day.  It is with these memories, that my heart aches to watch the devastation from the bushfires spreading across Australia right now. My thoughts are with the communities, firefighters and volunteers affected by this tragedy. Now more than ever, we must help protect the planet that we call home--please visit the WWF-Australia to see how you can help. 


Marissa Opal Ring
One-of-a kind design inspired by the crystal-blue waters of Australia's coast. Boulder opal, natural diamonds, 14k white gold. 

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