These photographs were chosen, as at the time I took each of them, there was a specific sentiment or sensation bubbling up inside as I stood before it. When I enter a rainforest or bushland, it feels as if I am walking through to another world, where the reverence of ancients can be felt all around. The Trees, the Rocks, the Creeks, or Rivers lined by rocks which have travelled through floods, been broken by time, and water. Each has a story to tell and brings sacredness wherever it settles.
I feel at home in the rainforest, walking amongst the cool damp trees, smelling the mustiness of leaves mingled with branches, composting as they lie on the forest floor, now spent.
Quietly hearing some small creature scuttle away over roots close by, barely stirring the leaves.
What else spies me, I’ll never know. I think I’m here alone, but deep down I can feel that I am not.
The spirit of the creek flows and dances with ethereal grace over the water, dappled by sunlight lying to rest upon the creek bed, spotlighting points beneath the gurgling water as if portals to secret tales, stories that began eons ago, only to continue to silently hold their tales, as I walk by.
When my Grandfather was small, he was playing in the rainforest of Far North Queensland on Mamu country. All the little Murri (Aboriginal people from Queensland) children, jumping from rock to rock, chasing each other, filling the dense jungle with their childish squeals of joy, watched by guardians.
“Don’t you kids go into that sacred area, Quinkan* get you!” an adult warns.
The kids don’t answer, they just run away playing and squealing. But they know.
Grandad was getting left behind, maybe his legs were getting tired of jumping rocks and keeping up, or maybe he was just thinking like a kid and thought he’d be smart looking for a shortcut. He knew he shouldn’t, but looking around, no one was there to see him, so intrepidly, he crept into the sacred area, that he was warned to stay away from. That area he knew that he should never ever go.
Getting bolder now, he ran towards a rock to climb over, hoping to catch up to his friends.
Before he had time to put a foot to it, the Rock grew tall and turned around to look at him, straight into his very soul. It didn’t say a word, but then again, the rock didn’t need to. My grandfather already knew, and without a second look, he ran out of that sacred area as fast as his little legs could carry him, back to camp, back the safety of his family.
Our Grandfather by passing his tale down to us, warns us Guardians may be watching. We are unsure of where this sacred site is now. Grandad is gone, but it’s enough to know that rocks are there for a reason. We don’t move them. We don’t take them away from their country. They are sacred sentinels, and long after we are gone, even after people stop believing, they will remain ever watchful.
It moves noiselessly into place. So much so, I am tricked to think it’s a mere play of light. Yet, it glides above its silent witnesses, who have been companions for time immeasurable. Its fingers point, but the gentle trickle of water leads it away further down the stream. I feel it imploring me, but by the time I see its face peering from the shadows, in the gloom of the rainforest, the sun has moved on and it fades as it appeared, without sound.
Lying in the long grass, it’s safe down here.
The sun shines on my dark brown skin, making it even blacker;
Filling me up with warmth, letting me melt into the earth.
Something tickles me underneath, but I don’t care.
I’m not moving for anything, I’m loving the breeze tugging at my hair
As the Universe comes to a halt, spinning tirelessly around the sun.
It feels like it’s spinning around me, where I am becoming the centre of my own world.
Black and white becomes gray
Full of life
Full of time
There is everything
There is hope
There is future
There is new colour
There is new life
Black and white becomes gray