Strong winds, mostly untamed nature, disappearing into the rainforest to find myself into incommensurable greens. Alive. Balancing steps, overwhelming sounds of unknown birds messing with my perception, unrecommended solo experience. Heavily breathing. Falling stones revealing themselves to be wallabies, lyrebirds imitating other sounds while grasping into the underbush, shiny blue bellied black snakes waiting for me on my path to healing, forcing to a new quiet reaction, slowing down, rebreathe, thinking ahead to walk more and more till the bushes opening to wild cliffs facing Antarctica.
Wilderness Australis.
The hypothetical Terra of the south, as imaginary as real when you walk into it, mesmerized by the unknown, becoming bigger and bigger when you have to face it.
Light, pure and strong, the first of the morning, screaming beasts around, memories of goldmines at my feet and families of kangaroos watching the stranger, as we are not part of nature, we pretend to know a small part of the familiar one next to us. But this nature has different rules; me as a guest, walking slowly now, trying to compensate for the gap, things becoming familiar in the walking and new details coming to my attention.
Animals as totems, still kookaburras patrolling my walk through, crows announcing my presence, white forests with deep feet into the water as monuments of the past, sacred mountains guiding the way from far; when you walk on foot all this becomes imprinted into your vision as a map and will stay with you forever, because the time you spend with them as reference to navigate you is as intense as years long.
Resting, feet into the cold river, sound of waterfalls or of the ocean far away. Water as an essential element of the walk, while billions of creatures are surrounding you, too small to focus on, too well hidden to be discovered at first sight. Tawny Frogmouths are masters of camouflage, but even koalas can be close but undisclosed in nature, far from the easily rewarding grasping feeling of zoos.
Nature described by the animals around me, in the quest for new encounters, struggling between new ones and the scary solitude of the unknown in the dark.
Devils are dancing, screaming, fooling the visitors as big scary predators, my eyes will not see them, but in the loneliness of the tent, at the border with a 10.000 years old forest, my soul is without peace while they scream. Walking without a light in the almost full dark, feeling the revealing presence of something, as the night is its territory, watching me from close, staring at each other now, but, as my eyes are almost useless, the full presence is revealed by a light. One, two, more, families of possums are around us, while we are unconsciously sleeping.
Now everything is still, but the waves and the winds. I embrace the absence of other humans as much as I was entering the Mosque invited at the very first night of Ramadan in Halab; a privilege in our overcrowded lives, amused by the opportunity, disoriented and frightened by the lost connection with my lonely me.
I am reborn in this wilderness, the sun turns my winter slavic skin into a tanned me, alleged memory of an Arab past, I am not ready to go back to humans, but I am rebalanced by the encounters I made, the strength I received by the experience, the discovery in these new connections which I drew.I am now smiling at each of the photos I took, my mission in every trip I took, testimony for my future me, to help others navigate these experiences, map of places without names, as nature has none, but the essence of my walks into the Australis is here to be for you too.
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