Fluro Friday || Film photos by Pablo Watson || Words by Madison Jeffery

I have been to a few Fluro Fridays in the past but this one was easily the most meaningful, a morning so special to me.13th of Jan 2017, my last day in Byron before heading back down the coast. We woke early to gather at The Pass, Byron Bay, everyone dressed in happy clothes, happy colours and big smiles. Even if you woke up feeling a bit off, it could have turned that frown upside down.

To be totally honest, that was me, there was so much going on in my life at that time. So many thoughts running through my mind they were all just a bit too overwhelming to be able to comprehend. I had so many amazing people around me; I just couldn’t find the words to express myself to them.

Which is exactly what Fluro Friday wants to battle against. Getting up super early and creating an atmosphere amongst everyone that it is a complete safe zone, no struggle is too big or small. To be able to express yourself in words, it’s just a matter of having someone there to listen.

And that just what I needed on this day.

There was probably about nine of us in the car park keeping the vibes at a high, laughing and mucking around. I was down right privileged to say the least. Some of them were great mates of mine so I felt right at home, meeting a few new people along the way to the waters edge. Laughing, taking a few photos and then we hit the water paddling out towards a line up with a fair few of us wearing colourful clothes. It sparked conversations straight up.

I got talking to this elderly lady about why we were all out here and wearing what we were wearing. I explained what One Wave was all about, and she then told me that her husband who had not long ago passed away would always help out at events like this. She went on to say that her husband helped her a lot with her mental health. It was short and sweet, but so powerful. I was inspired without saying a word about what was going on in my life. Just by her opening up to me so quickly and how much healthier her mind had gotten over the last two years it made me feel like it even though things in my life have dragged on for a while there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

After a few short little waves we all paddle to the side of the crowd and huddled around to talk about why we were all here on this beautiful morning. About twelve of us all in a circle, two people sharing some incredible words on mental health. Assuring everyone there that it was completely safe to share what you’re going through with the people in the circle. We all held hands, embracing the moment in front of us, before laughing and going to share some waves together.

The clearest of clear waters in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, it was hard not to just be completely grateful with what was being experienced. But even though I was feeling completely grateful there were also things being pushed to the back of my mind that I wasn’t dealing with properly.

After a few little party waves shared with the legends around, I sparked a conversation with a friend. He had asked me why I was leaving Byron today after three months of living there. It crossed my mind to just say the simple answer, but I had done that too often and decided to share what was on my heart.

After a good chat with him I felt a shift, like I had finally stopped just dealing with things with a smile on my face, and let someone know that I wasn’t doing the best. 

We caught a few waves together and the vibes stayed so high. It really does show that one wave is all it takes to free your mind. 

Film photographs by Pablo 

Words by Madi - www.Seewhatisee.net

Birralee Hassen