Moon’s Crossing, Pemberton.
I would break easily
if I fell upon this rock
unless like water
Moon’s Crossing, Pemberton.
I would break easily
if I fell upon this rock
unless like water
I once took an unknown path that led
across lichen encrusted granite.
I slipped and bruised easily.
But I made it to the top.
However, it wasn’t really that.
I once walked blindly into solid bush
certain it was virgin.
Scratched, sore and hot,
I found the center and a rusted coke can.
So, it wasn’t quite that.
I once climbed a mountain,
a torutous path.
Wind, rain, burning sun.
I reached the awe inspiring summit.
It was almost that.
I once followed a tiny creek line,
there was no trail.
I heard frogs and birds,the rustle of leaves,
I smelt the humus and the sweet air.
It was close to that.
But it wasn’t my conquest,
or my discovery.
It was something deeper,
It was everywhere and everything,
and it was nowhere in particular.
At once it was synergy,
a oneness, a different discovery,
where I belonged in the bosom of the earth,
and it belonged in me.
When was the last time you varied your route? When did you last enjoy a challenge like a side path or rock outcrop, a creek line, frogs, birds, moist earth?
When out in the bush, any possible path or route is likely to be a deviation for me. I am definitely curious and I love surprises and challenges. So another stop along the Norseman – Hyden Road along the Woodlands Discovery Trail, just to see. A granite outcrop, a running creek, and a view from the rock, birdsong, and a variety of woodland flora. Well worth the deviation for such simple yet rich pleasures, and oneness.
A rock face along one side of Kings Canyon. Wrinkled, weathered sandstone. The cause? Rain, wind and sun. Not unlike skin weathering from the same sources. In the millennia past it was moving water, a river or two, a lake, that weathered these rocks in the Katarrka National Park.
And from the same section, rippled sandstone reflecting the movement of wind and water across the surface of the rock.
In high school I had an art teacher who decided to show us the power of water. He rigged up a large plastic bottle and placed opal in it, and hooked up a belt and motor to turn the bottle, which also had sand and water in it. Over a year there was some change in the rock, it was smoother, the water and sand had begun to have an affect. Which reminds me of a Japanese saying: “In the struggle between the stone and water, in time the water wins.” But the rock is not destroyed, it is transformed, Transformed in to sand, pebbles, and rocks.
Our bodies take a hammering from the elements, just like the rock. I like to think that our bodies are well worn rock, where the rock has begun to smooth off and yet not lose its strength or character. In fact, as we age, I think we gain more strength and character. In this way rock and water are in parnership, and change results. Our wrinkles, both the outward and the inner ones, are the result of the forces of wear and pressure, they reflect a life lived. It’s the inner ones, the psychological scars that last the longest, and take time to be transfomed, but they are as and when we let our inner self be exposed to the forces of transformation.
There’s something about being on top of a mountain, or even just a rise. The views can be eyecatching, if not stunning. There’s something even more about being high enough to be in the clouds, it’s an ethereal experience. The air is cooler, the mist turns to rain, the clouds swirl as the wind pushes against the mountain, apart from the birds, the wind and rain, there is no noise, no unnatural noise. And, if there’s a gap in the cloud, you can see for miles. It’s a totally different perspective to the ground level view.
The ancients liked to think that mountains were close to their deity, the mountains reached up to the heavens, so they must be sacred places of meeting between gods and people. The people of Israel had a special affinity with Mt. Sinai where Moses received the content of the ten commands. For the ancient Greeks Mt. Olympus was the home of the Greek Gods, and Mt. Athos was the holy mountain. In Tibet Mt. Kaillash is sacred, for the Incas it was Macchu Picchu, in Japan Koya-san is sacred, in Australia Uluru is sacred, and in New Zealand it is Mt. Taranaki. There are many more, and there isn’t a geographical region that doesn’t have a sacred mountain, such that it would suggest that the ancients felt a deep spiritual connection with certain mountains, and the fact that this crosses over every culture and continent is significant.
Mountains are places for reflection, meditation, you can also clear your head. So for me there is a mindfulness about being up a mountain, or a rock or a rise. And it speaks to perespective, how we see something in overview, as oposed to ground level view where everything is foreshortened and not so visisble. Being above ourselves in a mindful observing way, might give us perspective on our growth, our goals, behaviour and so on. Being above community in a mindful observing way might give us a better perspective on our relationships, what might be really happening, we might see potential, possibility, and gain a sense of hope.
There is also the opportunity to put ourselves in perspective simply by the sheer disparity in our own smallness in comparison to the height of the rise, and the vast plains below. So in that sense, we can prevent ourselves from literally getting above ourselves in a negative sense, and maintain a balanced perspective of self and life. Take an overview from above, and get a different perspective.
How anything lives in this great southern land is amazing. From rock hard clay and gravels, to granite and sandstone, to deep alkaline sands. The tree in the photo has seeded in a shallow crack of this granite rock and it is making its way against all odds. A bit like nature in general, given that we now know the crisis the planet is facing. To be viable is to be able to live, to thrive, to flourish. Via meaning way, ble meaning the completion of the verb to be, making way, living. The way I see it we can’t just be individuals, we must make way together, we must be a network of communities or ecosystems supporting and respecting each other, that is the only viable option for all species. And together we must set down roots of mutuality and turn the tide. Together we can make a way.
Another beautiful spot along the Cape to Cape track. This section is just below Deepdene. Here I took a temporary break (back pack is in the bottom left of the photo). Some amazing rock formations along this section of the coast, volcanic, sandstone, limestone, granite, amalgam or all. Great place for a break, the ocean, the sand, the salty air, the sound of gulls and otehr birds, invigorating. Temporary, but yet permanent, becuase this memory has stayed with me.
One of the interesting facts about Australia’s monoliths is that they are small above ground, with the bulk buried below. This is a partial shot of Kokerbin Rock that I took 2009. The rock is between the communities of Kellerberrin and Shackleton. Kokerbin Rock is 122 mtrs high, and is a grantire formation. Originally it was an indigenous birthing site, and therefore a women only site. As you approach Kokerbin from the east it even looks like a pregnant woman lying on her back.
Kokerbin is the third largest monolith in Australia, but what you see with teh eye is small compared to what geophysics has uncovered as buried below ground. Mt. Wudddina in South Australia is second largest, and the iconic Uluru is first.
Uluru in 2014, and again, the bulk of it is buried or underground. And this is also a significant Indigenous site, and while it is a popular tourist destination it continues to be used, whereas Kokerbin is no longer used and is now a nature park.
Water can be savage. I remember in my year 10 class learning more about how water erodes, and in our art class we tumbled gemstones in water to polish them (it worked, over a year). The photo shows a slice of Western Australia’s rugged sounthern coastline at Windy Harbour, savaged and ravaged by the constant battering of powerful salt water, the rock has surrendered, grudgingly and slowly. Just the sound, that explosive battering thump, lets you know that the water is savaging the rock and everything and will have its way. And yet, the water is refreshing, majestic, and beautiful as well.
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