I visited the East Kimberley region of Western Australia a couple of years ago when, although winter, it was very hot up north. Kununurra, a major town in this region is some 3000+ kms from Perth. The beauty of this region is humbling and best enjoyed in silence.
Our hotel was just across the road from Lily Creek Lagoon. Boab trees grew along the rim of the large creek. It was hauntingly beautiful at daybreak. The area has warning signs for freshwater crocodiles and although less aggressive than the deadly saltwater crocs, I was wary but found the surrounds irresistible.
Lake Argyle, a large artificial lake, is the lifeline of mining and agriculture, in this region. This is also diamond country where the pink Argyle diamonds are found. The landscape is more beautiful than the most expensive bling dug from earth.
About 400 kms away from Kununurra is Halls Creek, a historic gold mining town. Just on the outskirts of town is China Wall, a quartz outcrop that erupts from the ground for several kilometres, rising from and disappearing into the red earth intermittently. It is the longest known fault of its kind in the world. In places, it is several meters high. At the base is a pool with palm trees growing, an oasis, in this harsh beautiful country. Unfortunately, to access it, the camera had to be left behind.
Raised with the fear of snakes, I initially resisted my companion’s urging to explore the oasis. Like I said, it was hot. I also know there is a simple equation in the bush, where there is water they are birds, small animals and, naturally, snakes. Climbing down was easier than I anticipated. The rocks were scorching hot. They made our descent even quicker! Once down we realised we hadn’t anticipated the challenge of summit. Climbing over hot rocks, some more than a metre high, was made harder by our laughter, squeals of pain and fear of what could be lurking in the crevices! Once in the car, I was exhilarated.
In looking over these pictures recently I had an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, a “I did it!” moment. It fuelled me to reconsider what is my biggest challenge these days. Running my own business, the work-life balance has been elusive and has been for a while. The largely sedentary lifestyle of planes, cars and chairs has impacted my fitness. It prevents me from working on my bucket list where there are gorges to visit and walking trails to explore. It is stealing joy by stealth.
The insidious nature of stress is that one gets used to it. Relaxation is the pole opposite and can make one feel uncomfortable. To counter this I am starting slowly. A walk every day. Around the lake in good weather. Undercover, in the shopping centre, when it rains. Much to my surprise I wake each morning and allocate time to do this. I leave my camera behind and enjoy being ‘in the moment’ where ever I am. To do this requires art and science.
Although the science of behaviour modification is familiar to me, it took a New York journalist, Charles Duhigg’s book, ‘The Power of Habit’, to practice it. My late father used to say, words are words, but it is how you hear them, matters. My father was right. Sometimes, words like diamonds, once chiselled and faceted, sparkle.
May you hear what you need to hear today. And, may it change your life, for the better.
Until next time,
a dawn bird
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