Photo by Jorunn Lorenzen
Check out is in an hour. I have just spent two nights in the most amazing house with eight other people, only one of whom I had met before.
As the weekend went on, we discussed how owning such a house would feel. It really felt like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with a full glass side of the house overlooking the ocean, a heated Jacuzzi for eight, heated floors, a full library and games room, and an amazing fireplace area, which I am learning isn’t that special for Tasmania, but only six weeks in from sunny Queensland, it’s a novelty to me.
The guest book opens with a welcome to guests from Lynn. I cannot help but wonder if, on the unrented days, Lynn stays here by herself. This huge house, swelling with people and laughter on weekends, rented out to a single occupier during the week. I imagine the house breathing a sigh of relief as everyone leaves and it can relax again on Sundays—but maybe it gets a huge bout of depression as we all pack up and say goodbye.
We have continually commented on the extravagance of the house, the luxury of it, nothing unthought-of. Even the library has been carefully selected with excellent reads, and it killed me to leave behind new-found books unread that had grabbed my interest just from a flick through.
But the house is only as happy as the people in it. We could have fought or laughed. A million dollar view only provides a momentary distraction; but I also cannot deny the momentary spell that the view cast over us. However, the true million dollar view isn’t in the bricks and mortar—it’s in the people within, getting to know each other, sharing stories, showing support, and laughing, and the time they spend together. This was the priceless part of the weekend. We could have been in a tin shack for the weekend or a tent. We would have had just as much fun. For me, that time with people, getting to know each other, was worth a million dollars.
We played a great game that weekend, ‘If you could …’, where we took turns asking a question starting with ‘If you could’, which we all had to answer. For example, If you could have a house anywhere in world, where would it be? or, If you could have one food in a never-ending supply, what would it be? On one of my turns, I asked, ‘If you could relive one moment in your life, what would it be? The answers ranged from great days at music festivals to great moments in travel, but when I came to answer, I realized that I couldn’t give a particular moment. As it was all the moments like these. It doesn’t matter where for me, just a time with a group of great people—friends or family—where you are just sitting around relaxed, sharing stories and laughing, moments where you all burst out laughing together. In those moments, I get the best feeling in the world, and any one of those moments for me is what I would relive.
Our time together is precious. I don’t dare waste a minute of it any more. I don’t need a view or to be anywhere fancy. Just being in a cosy place with good company is really what matters for me. This is the priceless part of my life, that part you all play in it.