Breathe In The Moment, Live For The Future
A poem written during a 14 day hike in Central Australia, along the Larapinta Trail, West Macdonnell Ranges.
We wake to the dawn and the last stars above as the soft morning light brings another day into being.
A slight wisp of wind cools the air as the sun breaks over the range and lights up the craggy red rock.
Our legs are weary and our feet are jaded, but our spirit is strong and our minds inspired as we set off on another day of Larapinta dreaming.
A dingo howls, a burrowing frog scurries into the sand, a gecko suns and a black-footed rock wallaby bounds away as the firetails, ringneck parrots, zebra finches, apostle birds, blue wrens, yellow-breasted minors, go from tree to water to tree and the wedge tail eagle surveys from above.
The stillness can leave you with only your jumbled resigned thoughts, yet as we walk the mind softens and we too become a part of the landscape and all its beauty and vastness and tune into the rhythm of the day.
The 350 million year old rock, once an inland sea now stands jagged and stout.
This land is timeless, it’s ancient, raw and rugged and its gorges run deep.
Yet the colours are alive with the wildflowers underfoot, the rich red quartzite and the luminescent ghost gum set against the deep blue sky.
The sheer scale and size puts one’s own life in perspective, and one is almost overwhelmed.
Yet there is a beauty in this vastness that drenches you and infiltrates your subconscious and gives dimension and depth to this incredible thing called life, where we as individuals become irrelevant and just become a part of this bigger journey.
We rest in the shade at Stuart's Pass and give time to the feats of the explorers gone past, whose footsteps still echo in the valleys and the beds as the brutality of the walk to Brinkley Bluff awaits us.
Yet this is rewarded by the mesmerising views, the red glow at sunset, the endless stars at night and the morning sun slowly rising on the range that will be forever etched in our minds.
And as another day comes to life we walk the ridges and valleys with delight. By afternoon its time to rest and it’s the ghost gums that shade us from the harsh and brutal sun.
So now our campsite calls again with soft river sand to greet our feet. The fire is lit, the rice is cooked and while the billy boils the kumara crackles, the damper slowly rises and the bats feed overhead.
Then as you roll out your bed to the warmth of the fire you look to the sky and the stars shining bright.
And as we wake to our final dawn, a blazing sky rising in the east, the bound of the black-footed rock wallabies in the distance and the sound of the billy boiling a fresh brew of tea, emotions are mixed.
It’s the little things I’ll miss; the simple life we’ve led, the ageless embrace of the red ranges, the afternoon glow at sundown, the willy wagtail going from tree to tree, the blazing sun on the majestic red rock, the valleys, cliffs and gorges now buried deeply in my psyche and the humble but happy campfire.
But it’s homeward bound for you and me and us all now. A home where we can again reconcile with our soul’s world.
With our troubled condition solved the opportunity is there for you and me and humanity to walk out of the valley of the dead and into the valley of life again.
The bush, nature and our soul’s world is alive and so, so separate to the alienated, dead, old world city hide-outs we live in.
But the soul’s world is our real world and to all the trees, birds, rocks, bees, ants, dingos, bats and willy wagtails, humanity is coming home.
Above: The Author and friend with a copy of FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition, before a beautiful Larapinta sunrise.