Two Sunday’s Ago:
July 13, 2014
This morning I woke up far too early for my liking at 5:30 am and after an hour of tossing and turning I gave up and awoke for the day. At that point I thought I might as well try to call Ryan so I could talk to him for a moment and we got to talk for an hour! A great start to my day.
After changing into running clothes and having a quick oatmeal breakfast to warm the bones, I stepped out into the chilly morning air. The chill wore off about 10 minutes into my run. And oh it was a beautiful run!
I ran down a wonderful area of St. Kilda called Acland Road, by Luna Park, and down to the ocean where the light blues and orange tints of the winter morning sunrise remained draped across the darker blues of the ocean and the white crests of the waves.
There in the early morning winter light, I noticed a small thing on the sand up ahead, curious, I approached. There in the winter sunlight stood a one foot tall Blue Penguin! He cheered me along as I ran by chirping his hello. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I ran down the St. Kilda beaches and up another hopping place in St. Kilda called Fitzroy street.
It being 8:30am on a Sunday, Fitzroy Street, wasn’t a very hopping place just yet, but the bleary eyed café owners were just beginning to feel the caffeine of their early morning coffee kick in as they set up shop for a busy Sunday brunch.
After my run was over, I got back to take a warm and relaxing shower, get dressed, and ready to head to church. After the short 12 minute walk to a nearby Presbyterian church I was welcomed by a man into a beautiful church building. Little did I know this beautiful church building was the home of a 16 person congregation (including the minister), a pianist who didn’t know how to play piano, a minister who had such a heavy Korean accent you couldn’t understand him, and a lack of any heating.
Given that it was a 47 degree morning, we sang accompanied by a lot of piano, there was a 20 minute sermon, and no one spoke to each other, it was a very interesting church service.
However coming out of the service, being hit with the promise of our Lord with the rays of sunshine coming down brought such a joy and thankfulness to my day.
Strolling back to my hostel was beautiful. Once back, I finished up my eggs, rocket (arugula), spinach, onions, and a few of my apples for a lunch before catching a tram to Uni.
At Uni, I met up with three girls from Penn, Jenny, Jordi, and Jenny. There we proceeded to run some errands, find our bearings, and just enjoy the happy and busy place Melbourne Central Business District is on a Sunday afternoon.
Around 5 we decided we would find a place to eat on the infamous Lygon Street. Walking by a cute Italian restaurant a man asked us to look at the menu, and then began to describe a wonderful Nutella dessert creation that if we chose to eat there would be on the house! So what did we do? We said yes and were led inside for a two hour meal full of joking with the waitstaff, conversations of Penn, conversations of what is to come, things about the United States, and the most wonderful food and wine. We all split a ½ liter of moscato, a pizza, calzone, and pasta dish that were all gourmet and marvelous!
After a 30 minute tram ride back to St. Kilda I got off near the pier, right around where I had seen the penguin earlier on today. I was told by a friend at my hostel that a local told him that there were more at night. So I began to walk along the pier and the water searching for a little penguin in the dark. Alas I did not see any but I listened to a beautiful sound that sounded familiar yet I couldn’t quite place.
So I asked another lady with a camera if she had heard anything about these penguins and she pointed to a fence up ahead and said they nest right over that fence. As I approached it the noise got louder. It was the penguins chattering I had been hearing all along!
Looking over the fence it was too dark to see anything but I was feeling very creative so I thought I may go take a seat nearby and look out at the waves lapping the pier, as the full moon and the lights of the city in the distance shone down on the water, and the happy penguins chatted. As I began to sit, I heard chattering very close to me and turning to my right I saw this little penguin 2 feet away from me! As my eyes began to adjust to the dark I saw 4 more penguins right there! I was entranced watching and listening to these fascinating creatures within touching distance to me. I watched them and laughed at them for 30 minutes before deciding to move on, where I came across penguins playing in the water, and scurrying across the rocks and just having a marvelous time!
Once I finally broke myself away from the beautiful sight and experience, as I walked up the pier I couldn’t help but grin, giggle, and praise God for his wonderful creations. All the way home, walking back along Acland Road I just felt so at ease and in love with Melbourne.