It is early on the beach at Jervis Bay, still virtually deserted before holiday-makers arrive for their morning swim, so that I have it almost all to myself. The sky is mostly blue with some white unthreatening clouds. The surface of the bay is calm with only small waves breaking onto the sand that stretches some four kilometres facing Point Perpendicular and beyond it the Tasman Sea. The waves roll in, break, then ebb away to meet the next set. The breaking wave is followed by a short eerie silence and sense of serenity until the next set tumbles gently forward and creeps up the beach. Yesterday we saw one of the largest pod of dolphins that I can remember, but today there are none to be seen.
Behind me a small sand bank retains the bush. A myriad on natural flora is highlighted here and there by an old man banksia or a gnarled example of the remnant gums trees that had survived the infrequent bush fires.
There is only a light breeze but enough to allow a quite large hawk to glide to and fro, circling high without the need to flap its wings. Another hawk waits patiently, perched in a dead white gum tree just beyond the sand bank. All of a sudden the hawk starts a shallow descent aimed some thirty metres off the shore. As it approaches the water its talons are projected forward, so it appears to only skim the surface, but yet emerge with a small fish in its claws as it rejoins its mate.
This act of natural survival did nothing to disturb to tranquillity of the scene but rather provided a clear demonstration of a world in harmony. It makes one wonder about the simplicity of the natural environment which is so complicated. The workings of the oceans, the blooming of the flora and fauna that rely upon each other for their very existence, can appear in such a state of simple harmony to belie the sheer majesty of every aspect of life as we know it. But it is that complexity that ensures the harmony of our natural world. It is a world not without the trauma of the fight to exist, of weather events including seismic occurrences that in the end are self-balancing, reverting to that state of harmony that is so treasured by we humans.
In the extreme of natural complexity, one could say, is humanity, so intricate and detailed, both physically and spiritually representing a climax of evolution. As humans we are capable of both appreciating our world on one hand, and ignoring and exploiting it on the other, the latter often leading to the upsetting of the natural balance mainly as a result of the multiplying of our species.
Jervis Bay is a beautiful part of our beautiful world. Being away from the city it provides an example of the natural world in balance. It is surely incumbent on us to do all we can to ensure the continuation, and restoration, of that balance.