Kimberley Knowing

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. 

Turning onto Gibb River Rd, The Kimberley region

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?

Entering Gibb River Rd, The Kimberley Region

Transformational Fire

Travelling through the rugged terrain of The Kimberley’s in North Western Australia is not a task to be undertaken lightly.  It’s a vast, rugged and incredibly remote terrain that needs to be treated with respect.

Gibb River Rd, The Kimberley

Turning onto Gibb River Rd, The Kimberley region

On my first trip ‘up north’, heading along the Gibb River Rd on our way to El Questro the landscape was black, scorched from fires that were still burning and traversing their way along the land.   Initially bothered by what I saw and fearful of the spot fires, I soon saw a different picture.

Indigenous cultures cared for the land knowing of the beneficial outcomes of controlled burn offs.  With an awareness of the cycles of the land and the seasons, burning the land enables a cyclical cleansing and growth process to occur.

‘a slow controlled burn’

Watching the spot fires traverse the landscape and engulf the shrubs and trees was an eerily beautiful image.  I was focussed on what was visible to the eye – devastation and destruction.

What I was see was not the whole picture, the truth of the situation.  Whilst they looked dead, blackened and barren they were alive.

Down the road a bit on land previously burned, these black trees and shrubs were showing little sprays of green foliage, of life, of new growth.  That was a stunning image, bursts of apple green foliage springing forth from blackened tree trunks.

The fire enabled new growth to occur.

You may see burnt out tree hollows yet deep down at the root level there is newness.

You may smell a scored land yet the winds move it through.

You may see devastation yet it is creation.

You may feel sad for what has died yet it is an earthly joy.

The fire has a transformational force that only it knows of.

 

Where do you need to burn off the dross?

How could you use your inner transformation fire to burn away, to transmute the old and make way for the new?

Imagine what regrowth could occur?

Breaking the ties that bind… the boab

It was during my first trip to ‘the Kimberley’s’ that I fell in love with them.  Dominating the rugged and dry landscape, the boab trees commanded my attention.  There was something about their bulbous shape that just made me want to hug them.  This I did, more then once and with their wide girth my hands never fully surrounded the trunk.  Adding to my joy and never ending sense of wonder was the uniqueness of each boab, never did two ever look the same.

Whilst the boab trees scattered the land, it was an incredibly rare sight to see a boab flower.  The pods that encase and protect the seed have a soft velvet cover.  They hang delicately from the branches in stark contrast to the solidness and security that the round trunk provides. Whilst I had seen images of the flowers in books and read of their healing potential and indigenous connection it was not until my next trip a few years later that I would witness a boab flower in full bloom.

During this second trip, I was moving through an incredibly difficult period with my marriage ending only a few months prior.   I headed to this region as I knew the land would be very healing.  It was a true gift for me to witness a boab in full bloom, it felt like an offering from the Gods.  I resonated with the flower and reflected upon her process of blooming.   What an incredibly amount of tension and force would be required for her to break free from the protective shell, a shell that once protected and kept her safe yet now it was limiting.  As a seed within the pod, she hung unwavering throughout the rains, scorching sun, humidity and winds.  Clinging to her one substance, the tree.  Yet she knew she was more then the seed.  Patiently she waited until it was her time to push through the shell and break free.   She was still part of the tree, yet she was expressing her uniqueness and shone for those with eyes to see.

The reflection given to me was clear.  I too needed to break free from the shell, to become who I could be, to bloom beyond what I knew was possible.  It would take incredible effort and force; tension would be present through the breaking down of old ways.  Yet it was a process already underway and one that could not be stopped.

My love and connection with the boab tree went to a whole new level throughout that trip.  She is a healer for me.  Some pods had dropped to the ground and opened revealing the innerness.  Soft and velvet the petals still wrapped upon themselves, frozen in time.  Yet those that bloom are exquisite to behold, the large fragrant flower with its fleshy white to cream petals commands your attention.  Its numerous stamens shoot upwards towards the sky.

It’s a powerful healer as a flower essence as it can assist in the breaking of strong, deeply ingrained negative family patterns.  Resulting in deep personal transformation, it is a profound healer working initially on the spiritual level, and then working its way down through the emotional and mental bodies.

If you are finding it difficult to break free from limiting and/or repetitive patterns, behaviours and mental mindsets perhaps consider the boab essence?

The Doctrine of Signatures is interesting in so much that you will often seen groups or clusters of boab trees.  Like a family quite often becoming enmeshed in one another, the boab essence addresses this restriction.

Personally the boab flower essence is the one constant on my bedside table.  Its incredibly powerful and supportive through the personal transformation processes.  Sometimes ‘the ties that bind’ also restrict and prevent your growth.

The boab provides the strength needed to release the old way and enable more of your true spirit self to anchor.

It was through reading Ian White’s ‘Bush Flower Healing’ that I became aware of the connection the Indigenous communities have with the boab.   The traditional birthing practice in these local communities involved the use of the boab flowers.   If they were in season, the woman would dig a hole and line it with boab flowers.  The woman in labour would then squat over the hole and deliver the baby into the cradle of flowers.  As the baby was birthed its first contact was with the boab flower, a cleansing of family patterns.   Truly wonderful.

I do have a love affair/obsession with boab trees, even to this day 7 years on from my first encounter images of them adorn my study.   I make no excuses for this strong connection with this tree that I feel.

A true gift that when prepared as an essence enables us to step fully into who we can become.

 

 

The land stripping me bare

El Questro Station, The Kimberley, Western Australia

“I don’t know why you do this to yourself!”  His words penetrated sharply into my heart. The awkward silence between us had been shattered.  Feeling his frustration toward me shook my core.  My husband always been my lighthouse, my rock, my safe shore.  Ever dependable he was my steadier.   Never had a harsh word been said.  Until now.

This outburst of exasperation had rocked me.  Leaving me vulnerable.  My lighthouse had turned his light off. 

It had been a long, hot, exhausting and challenging day. Today had been the beginning of our trek into one of the remotest regions of Western Australia.

We had done what we could to prepare for the journey.  The back of the 4WD was full of food, water and other necessities.  Where we were heading there was no phone coverage, no internet or shops.  Whilst we had travelled to Central Australia many times this journey would be different, we knew that and were aware of the need to take this trek seriously.  Remote outback Australia it not to be taken lightly.  The land commands respect.  She is both rugged and harsh whilst being breathtakingly beautiful.

My response was lightening quick.  The words flowing like water from a damn that had just been burst.  “I do this to myself because it helps me to grow.  I love this country deeply and passionately and I want to experience it, and experience me in it.  I need to get out and explore more of what I think I am.”  I too was feeling frustrated.  From the moment we hit the track I was engulfed with fear.  I was scared and uncomfortable.  The voices in my head already ripping into me far more than his words could.   How stupid I had been to think that this trip could be done? 

Silence once more permeated the air between us.  Our outbursts releasing pent up emotions.   I looked at him, searching his face for some resemblance of the gentle and caring husband, I had known for close to 20 years.  Nothing.   He had gone.  The man with his hands on the steering wheel had his eyes fixed diligently on the 4wd track in front of us.  Concentration taking its toll.

Months of planning and preparation had gone into pulling this ‘holiday’ together for just us.  Our first time away for many years without our children.   I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to connect more deeply and get to know one another once more.

I didn’t see this coming though.   How was it that with every kilometre that we drove deeper and deeper into Country the more further away from one another we seemed?    How was it that the more remote we travelled, the more suffocated and claustrophobic I felt?  The silence so deafening, I wanted to scream.  I needed to run back.  Back to the safety of the life I had known.  Keeping all in order.  It was too late though.  We had begun.  The journey commenced.   Unconscious and out of sight we had agreed to undertake this experience. 

There is only one road in and out to El Questro.   What was becoming increasingly clear was that who I was going in would not be who I was coming out.   Already on day 1, I was unravelling.  We were both challenged. 

This was not a trip of coming together but of journeying deeper into ourselves.  Two souls.   Once we turned onto Gibbs Rd, it felt as if we had entered a completely different time paradigm.  Nothing we knew would be the same again.  What we felt we needed, we didn’t.  What you think you want, you don’t.  There was only one road in and out.  No where to run or hide. 

I was being stripped bare.