Recently I found myself left lost for words, which - if you know me - is hard to believe …
I was out scrub revisiting an old homestead that I frequent every so often. There’s nothing much left of the original residence, but the fruit trees and vines are still going strong. The fruit is full of 1900’s heritage flavour (have you ever noticed the new varieties lack that je ne sais quoi?) and makes for a quick and nutritional snack on the go.
Remembering the folks back at camp, and the ‘hard rations’ we were on, I thought I’d pick a few extra bits of fruit for the team. And sure enough, the offerings were warmly received around the camp fire.
But you could have knocked me over with a feather when one of the party, a 19 year old, declared that she’d never eaten passion fruit directly from the cup before!
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s on the NSW mid-North Coast, passion fruit vines were in most people’s backyards. Devoured straight away - or slopped over Pavlova - this golden nectar spoke of all the great things that this country has to offer. These days, passion fruit is stocked in decent sized stores all year round - and all around the country. So I reckon I can be excused for wondering how a young Australian, on the cusp of adulthood, had missed the simple joy of slurping passion fruit pulp straight from the fruit.
Two days later I was fishing with a 34 year old bloke who was a scuba diver. He lives on an island in the middle of the Pacific. But he told me that the last time he’d been fishing was years ago – with his father and a hand line. Again, I was pretty surprised when I found myself having to show a grown man – with a love for the ocean – how to cast a fishing rod.
While I’ll be the first to admit that there are still plenty of experiences that I’ve yet to try, the opportunities that these good people had clearly missed in life were pretty straightforward. And it made me reflect on how easy it can be these days to lose touch with the simple things in life. Whether it’s mastering a manual gearbox, fishing from a natural water source, using a compass – or simply picking up a piece of food at a local market that you’ve never tried before, it’s worth having a crack.
What are you waiting for? Step outside your comfort zone, up-skill and get into some experiential learning. You never know … you just might like it.
And if you find yourself in an emergency situation one day, your life might just depend on it.
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