Witnessing the wilderness

'The walking is important to the story' - Rene Kulitja, Anagu law woman and Elder, lead artist of the painted canvas of the Uluru Statement of the Heart.

Walking in nature can be incredibly healing. It is a beautiful opportunity to cultivate the witness within. To see the world just as it is. In that moment. Walking in the wilderness gifts us the possibility of discovering the deep harmony of our wondrous life and all that surrounds us.

I have just returned from Arrernte Country, walking the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory desert with 16 wonderful women and four First Nations guides. It was a soul-shifting, magically healing experience. Disconnected from technology and our habitual way of life, we connected to the earth with every step and every story shared. As we walked we listened deeply to our hearts, the birdsong above us, the crunching of the dirt beneath our hiking boots, and the breathtaking silence, which at times held us.

The trail led us to awe-inspiring places. We visited nature's gallery everywhere we went. Dry river beds held the memory of moving water in the debris wrapped delicately around the trunks of trees. Reminiscent of the flowing shapes of ball gowns. The patterns on trees were each a magnificent artwork. The gentle curving of Spinifex cushions and the delicate cupping of bush branches were sculptured masterpieces and awoke much joy and delight in our broad smiles as we passed.

There was life and death in the trees. Sticks pointing to the sky, unashamedly barren and bare, as new growth flourished beneath. There were delicate flowers growing in hard rock. A reminder that suffering and joy can exist in the one place. Together. In deep peace.

On the trail we witnessed magical colours of purple and silver, with glitter and patterns only a divine artist could create. The still water of rivers and creeks mirrored what was above, we paused in the impossibility of knowing which world was being reflected.

The towering red walls of the heart-opening gorges contrasted the spectacular clear blue sky. We saw faces nestled in rock and the trunks of trees. Mother earth wrapped herself around us, drawing us deep inside her as the moon floated behind and watched on. And each day, we were guided by the magnificence of the flight of the Whistling Kite. This splendid bird aptly symbolic of connection and harmony. 

We started and finished at the mustard and rust red dirt of the Ochre pits. A gentle reminder of the circle of life. An ending begins where beginnings end. 

I am so incredibly grateful to have witnessed my habitual ways of thinking unfurl and shed from my body as I walked in nature. For the trail to lead me to the awe within. To be reminded of being in the moment. To be in nature and just accept things as they are. Accept me as I am. To find my heart in the dust of the earth.

Big love and heartfelt thanks to WeRerearts - Tina Bruce and Journeys by Design, alongside Larapinta Culture for holding space for us in the beautiful desert.

2 comments

Pam, thank you for your kind words and sharing how this read made you feel. My heart is so full to hear nature wash and cleanse your soul. That is just so incredibly beautiful and means so much to me. With kindness and gratitude, Kristina

Kristina Garla September 20, 2022

Beautiful read darling, I felt nature wash and cleanse my soul as I read these words ♥️

Pam September 20, 2022

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