In recent weeks I have felt the strong, earthy pull of nature luring me into the bush and down to the edges of streams and creeks running freely with summer rains. These days fill me with a peace I can't explain - it's a relief, and has encouraged a sense of spaciousness in my mind. Amongst the trees I focus on my footsteps and where I should tread, I look closely for signs of danger in the form of snakes, I listen intently for birdsong and the call of endangered amphibians. My senses hone in on the environment and all the other life stuff just melts away. I feel lighter but also more vulnerable. Most of all I am present.
We spent this past weekend swimming in Cedar Creek and exploring the Goomburra section of Main Range National Park. The forests were lush and dense and oh so green. Everywhere we looked life was competing with life - new plants fought for real estate on the forest floor and large trees powered upright through the canopy searching for the sun, fungi digested fallen timber and vines tangled themselves around any available surface. It was a verdant display of botanical wonders!
The waterways were all flowing and this always adds the most magical and transformative beauty to the forest. These shallow chasms of earth's most potent elixir sustain so much life. They wind through the trees like an invisible army forging through entangled roots and rock walls, sculpting the land as they go. They are the veins and arteries of this ancient land, older than I dare to dream, stoic and focussed on their purpose.
At the edge of the forest I heard the wailings of mumma earth carried over the valleys on the wind. I touched the trees and absorbed the solid, no-nonsense wisdom of rough bark. I connected with mushrooms, here for a brief time to remind us that the earth is a network of interconnected elements, working in a strange and complex symbiosis. I also humbled myself by falling on loose ground and feeling the unforgiving hardness of stone upon my bones. Ouch!
But mostly I remembered how weird the world is, how brutal and how absurd! But I also remembered how absolutely enchanting it is too.