The crash of the ocean, the call of the seabirds, the salt on my lips are all sensations that bring me back to earth when my head is in the clouds, instantly feeling connected once more to the land. I grew up on the coast line of Western Australia and being by the coast is where I feel most at home. I’m drawn to the ocean and particularly to the landscape of the south west, the white sand, the rocky shores, the dunes and the thick carpet of pig face under my feet.
It’s not often I find the urge to travel inland, there is days of driving between us and the next city and whilst it is beautiful it can also feel never ending… I once drove across the country on a journey to live in Melbourne and I was in awe of the red rock and the dusty plains, so far from the sandy shores that I had always known as my home.
A while ago Bo and I took a trip inland with some friends of ours, it was the kind of trip you take that quiets the mind and opens the spirit. The four of us drove late into the night, winding paths through tiny towns and drought stricken farms – we drove out to the property one of my friends was raised on where standing on the verandah of the house his parents had lived in as newlyweds everything the sun touched was theirs. Endless horizons of earth and scrub and the spectacular balance that comes from equal parts beauty and isolation.
I always feel incredibly blessed to be alive when I stand in nature. It’s as if something rises up in me, a force that I forget exists when I’m knee deep in the monotony of every day life. But it is so easily awakened again. Simply by turning off the phone. By leaving the house. By standing somewhere where you can truly hear the call of the world. By being with people you love and you trust and you can crack yourself wide open and just exist without needing protection of any kind at all. Thats what real friendship is. It’s simple. It’s raw. It’s real.
We spent those days climbing rocks and driving dirt roads and throwing nets into dams and discovering caves with handprints and paintings that showed signs of life here from well before any of our time. We watched lizards bask in the sunlight, and snakes lazily trail across our path and sat squat on red dirt tracing the lines of the ants as they ran to escape the rain.
There was nothing to do but talk or not talk, sleep or not sleep, walk or not walk, sit or not sit. And no matter what we chose, everything was well in our worlds.
When I feel like I’m suffocating in the heaviness of the world, being squashed by the over-connection and the tragedy and the over stimulation that comes from work and life and everything we are entrenched in… I always find myself drawn to the land. When I’m disconnected from the world and standing in nature I am always struck by the incredible synchronicity that exists between us and the natural world. When you stand on earth that has been walked on for so many generations of both human and animal, i can’t help but feel that connection with all that has come before and all that will come after. The call of the bird that echoes the thought of the mind. The wind in the leaves that carries whispers of the land. The big red ant that carries its brother home, and in that moment, teaches us all we truly need to know about the world.
The natural world has an enormous amount to teach us when we quiet our lives enough to be able to truly listen.
I can’t help but be thankful for the freedom we have to find what we need. For good friends. For children. For nature and for the lessons that come when we least expect them.
Travel inland. Travel to the ocean. Travel to the forest and get amongst the stuff that matters most with the people you love and live the shit out of the spectacular life you have.
It’s a beautiful thing, this living business. x