Whenever life leans in
The dignity of the tall gum tree
The ageless serenity of the gorge
Cliffs of towering power
The sheer beauty inherent in nature
Enfolded in a flower
Remember the songs of birds
The sigh of wind
Trees sifting energy
Releasing it in leaves
that fall to the ground to dazzle with their abstract pinks and greens
Remember the stillness found on the trail
Counting steps between markers
All that matters
The next small triangle
That all of this magic
lives on when I go
It’s part of my fabric now
I will always have access to
know the key
return here in my mind
*I recently (okay end of July) completed the Carnarvon Gorge Great Walk. Six days solo hike through the wilderness of the stunning and remote Carnarvon Gorge national park.
It was an amazing experience, a total immersion into the landscape through which I walked daily, setting up my little tent at night and falling asleep, waking into the sounds of the bush every morning.
The routine became simple. Wake, boil the kettle, eat, look at map, walk to next camp, lunch on a hillside with an awesome view somewhere along the way. Set up camp, eat, sleep. Wake. Camp. Walk.
I thrived, out of range of phone and email and every other modern device (I had a Garmin Inreach for safety). My entire system rebooted and as such I have been wary of spending much time online since returning – until now.
This writing is part of the process although I’m only now finding the ability to put a little of the experience into words.
The poem above fell into my head on the last day as I trudged along, my backpack much lighter then when I had begun, my body fitter but my soul not quite prepared to go home yet.
I could have easily stayed out there forever and will certainly be returning to do the walk again as soon as the merry go round enables another break.
In the meantime, I can always go there in my mind.
The best thing about life is that we have the experience, and then we have the memory. Which of course must be tempered with – the worst thing about life is that we have the experience, and then we have the memory, but in this case it was the former.
A couple of photos – not many, because I was so wholly present, they remain vivid memories in my head. And that is the best place to keep them.