The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild with light
And the heart fills with fresh bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to colour
This poem, by John O’Donohue from his book Eternal Echoes, speaks of the wonder of nature and the power of words. I love reading and can’t image a time without books…real books that I can hold in my hand and mark the places of inspiration that feed my soul. Although I shudder at hurting something I love, I do this to reinforce the lessons. Years later I can pick up this book and still feel a tingle from the message I highlighted.
I have so many books I am waiting to read that I have several on the go at any time. O’Donohue’s books, and his enchanted views relating to how we belong to the earth and have a restless longing to return to nature, all offer ongoing joy and enlightenment. To me this message is confirmed every time I step outside my door and take in the valley that stretches away from my studio.
On travels I find the most amazing places that keep my artist’s heart beating fiercely. Recently, on a road trip down to Canberra, we camped at Newnes, in the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales. It was the highlight of our trip. Newnes is a location now, but was a bustling township 100 years ago. It arose from a Shale Oil enterprise that ultimately failed, however the ruins remain. It takes about an hour and a half to walk around the original infrastructure as it was a huge undertaking.
The most magic part of this stay however was the 5 hour return walk [ 8 klm ] up the escarpment to the old railway tunnel that is now inhabited with glow worms. The old railway track gets a bit washed away in places, which adds to the excitement, but my breath was taken away when we reached the top level. I felt transported back in time.
In 1994, somewhere in the Wollemi National Park, an unknown species of tree, now named the Wollemi Pine, was discovered. It is now believed to have existed on the earth 200 million years ago. Walking through this place gave me a sense of my part in history, even if I am just a minute fragment. O’Donohue’s words ‘ when you find a place in nature where the heart and mind find rest, then you have discovered a sanctuary for your soul’ resonate. Nature does indeed call us to tranquility and transforms us in unexpected ways.
To see the invitation for my April 2014 exhibition Where Waters Meet; landscapes inspired by nature…Visit ArtClique exhibition page.