How is it that with every kilometre that we drove deeper and deeper into the country, the more suffocated and claustrophobic I felt? This land is ancient, untamed and uniquely stunning. She stands still. Unwavering. She moves for no one.
Any preconceived ideas I had that this would be a short drive down a dirt road were quickly thrown out the window. Very quickly when you begin travelling in this remote area you realise that this region commands respect. The land is rugged and we must respect where we are and to honour the opportunity to be here, experiencing the gift and that this is not a quick trip to the shops.
I have travelled to ‘the Centre’ many times and find that area to be abundantly beautiful, vast and expansive. It pulls you deeper into yourself, and in doing so results in a connection with self and the land in a mesmerisingly, delicious and embracing way. The colours at ‘the Centre’ are richly stunning. Anyone who has tried to paint knows how bloody challenging it is to recreate the red earth, the purple pink hue of the sunset and the ever changing colours of the landscape.
I wondered as we prepared for this trip ‘up north’ how the land would be. Would it be the same? What would my experience be? Would I connect with ‘her’ in a similar way in which I connect and resonate strongly with ‘the Centre’? Would it match up so to speak. How foolish for me to think that the land would need to compete. She knows no such thing, it is merely us mortals that engage in such games.
So here I am at the turn off onto Gibbs Road, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. I had heard many stories, read many blogs, seen many pictures yet I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. Here we were literally in the middle of nowhere. To the north rugged land, to the south rugged land, to the east and the west. A dirt road that seemed to disappear into nowhere.
We had done what we could to prepare for this trip. The back of the car was full of food, water and other things we thought we would need as we ventured ‘outback’ for a few days. There would be no phone, no internet or shops. In the few days when we ventured back out most items were still there – all those things we thought we needed – we really didn’t need at all.
One thing for sure that I needed which I didn’t know going in was courage. A willingness to confront my fears head on and to know that I was safe.
On reflection I can see how there really is that sense of ‘going in’, going into a whole different reality model. What I know now is that if you are willing to be present and to surrender who you are going in will be totally different to who you are coming out. It is like you cross into a whole new time space continuum. What you had – you don’t need, what you think you want in life – you realise you don’t really, what you think is important – isn’t, who you are – isn’t real either. She can strip you bare simply through her presence and your willingness to be present and to engage.
I didn’t see this coming. Being stripped bare. Bloody uncomfortable and didn’t exactly fit my preconceived notion of a few days immersed in El Questro Wilderness Park. She was pulling me so deeply I became blinded. Who would I be when I came out?