I took a drive today. A deep sense of frustration and a rather large dose of cabin fever - that and the fact that I've been a bit blue over my current financial conundrums etc etc - I decided on an intuitive whim that a trip outside my usual comfort zone might be just what the doctor would order.
I can't afford to go really far, so I opted for the mountain range, practically in my "back yard" so to speak, about 65kms away.
I decided to go visit The Balconies or "The Jaws of Death" on Reeds Lookout for once. I don't remember having done this trip since perhaps very young with my parents and I certainly haven't done a trip to the Grampians heart since the big bushfires of January 2006!
Nature is persistent and resilient and she'll bounce back. I guess there is a lesson for all of us in that too - that no matter the adversity, one must always send new shoots forward into the future, on the ashes of the past.
At Reeds' Lookout, I was rapt to be amongst several different nationalities of people all speaking in their various languages (sadly, I am no Henry Higgins so cannot tell you from which parts of the world they came from). It really felt like being "overseas" in many ways and I felt a surge of positive joy in my heart just being there and watching them climb over the "safety" rails to go stand in the mouth of the "Jaws" themselves! Mind you! After awhile of watching young foreign men and women play mountain goats on rather sheer rock ramparts, I had to leave, feeling a little overly motherly in my concern for strangers, whom I could not communicate with effectively to warn of any dangers! Still, the walk, the sunshine - the sky was clearing by now - the mishappen and alien environs of the mountain and regenerating scrub-land, all did me the world of good.
I then drove the winding roads through the Wonderland Tableland and stopped at Rosea Carpark intent on finding my way to Dellys Dell. This walk down into the fern-hearted depths of the mountain was a delight, if a rather strange journey into a very changed fact of my history. It was 20 years ago, approximately, that I first committed to marrying my once-husband in this very place. I spent some time down here today contemplating that past 20 years. A tiny little native finch accompanied me for a short while, darting from fern frond to fern frond, oblivious and unconcerned by my presence in his home. I let go of that past and accepted that I am finally responsible for what happens to me - on my own - without fear or recoil from a future where the possibilities are limitless. I miss the companionship of being "with" someone, but I need to give up needing it so much and get on with being ME without the co-dependent tendencies. The finch was suitably nonplussed by my few short tears and my determination to re-emerge from the Dell "re-born" so to speak. He/She probably thought I was taking myself just a tad too seriously perhaps! :)
I then travelled the further 10km of winding road down into the township of Halls Gap. Once a tiny little backwater and hidden gem of a place for bush-walkers, camping enthusiasts and visitors to come feed kangaroos and buy a simple ice-cream - it is now a resort/camping mecca for an abundance of national and international travellers! We nearly lost the entire town back in 2006, only a few of the locals stayed to help fight back the wrath of the fires that came, literally, within metres of destroying the place. But, that near tragedy has not daunted this little town! There are resort cabins, accomodations and all manner of "developments" taking place. The place is NUTS in holiday season and it will be a damn shame, but I can totally see the powers-that-be having to remove some lovely forest to make more room for carparking! Joni Mitchell's "Yellow Taxi" springs to mind. Progress be damned in this instance I think - but how the mighty $ rules! *sigh*
I went to the Stony Creek shops to get a cup of tea and met a bloke called "Micheal", a cheeky affable old local who delighted me and engaged me with conversation and much laughter. We only got as far as first names but I already found him lovable and charming and maybe I will meet with him again in future travels to take those photo's. I told him about my trip to Dellys Dell, without giving much away about the spiritual and emotional implications of that short journey, but he said almost immediately "You spoke to the fairies didn't you?". I could only agree, laughing at the knowledge of being "known" so well so quickly!
My money woes and my worries about tomorrow won't go away overnight because of this journey. My sense of isolation and tension in being "trapped" by my own need for personal freedom will possibly return. But, right here and right now, I travelled "abroad" and it feels good to have experienced something new.
My soul is calm.