Walking with eyes wide open
We have clocked over a month in the tents. Last week, radical weather hindered my morning WHM and lake swim routine for a few days. The nights were impressive. Cyclonic winds and torrential rain. My brave tent shielded the brunt of the storm but by day break it on the first full day of the storm it was well and truly flooded. The kids survived clean and dry but it took some handy French engineering to drain our main tent site dry, with the interior remaining flooded and requiring a mass evacuation of books, bedding, guitar and didgeridoo. It was predicted it would rain for over a week, and sure enough, it has. The sun displayed some mercy for a half day, shining forth a few rays to dry my gypsy palace just enough to rest my head again.
Backtrack a week.
Wollumbin - Mt. Warning Climb
Seven years in the Northern Rivers region, split between Byron and Lennox/Ballina shires, and until this month I had not ventured up the sacred Aboriginal grounds of Wollumbin (Aboriginal name), aka Mt. Warning. The mountain is the remnant central vent of an ancient volcano, and is a sacred place of great significance to the people of the Bundjalung Nation. It is the first place on the Australian mainland to be touched by the morning sun.
With the charming French monkey Remy by my side, we hit the track mid-morning and reached the summit around noon for breathtaking views and a midday picnic. The trek is more of a steep nine kilometer return walk and climb, and took us just under two hours to reach the summit, passing through subtropical and temperate lush rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest and heath scrubland that has to a large extent recently damaged the track from strong, consistent storm fronts. The climb to the peak ends with a chain-assisted rock scramble before reaching the summit, where we were greeted with sweeping views of the Northern Rivers and Tweed Valley regions. Atop the summit time is best spent soaking in the sun on a picnic blanket; take some snacks and water to enjoy before the climb back down.
The weather was in our favour on this day and we made it back down to Byron Bay just before sunset and the full moon rising, and we sat witness to day merging into night from atop the grassy knoll at Little Wategoes. Dolphins danced at twilight in the breaking waves, runners sweated it out en route to the Lighthouse, while lovers walked hand in soaking in the evening sky's colourful palette.
As we watched the sun bid farewell to our gaze for the last time that day, Mt. Warning soaked up the final rays, visible from our perch in the Bay. It was quite magical to contemplate we had been lying on a small patch of grass eating nuts and fruits at the top of the mountain earlier that day, and were now just a touch above sea level, looking on.
Days like these remind me to walk this world with my eyes open, and appreciate every way this journey takes us, North, East, South and West. With awareness, we can equally learn to appreciated the moon as we do the sun, the wind and the rain, fire and earth. This is wholeness, unity, and necessary for a harmonious, authentic life.
With love and gratitude,