We visited Little Paradise Falls today. It is a feeling kind of place...
We visited Little Paradise Falls today. It is a feeling kind of place.
We have called the general area home for a while, gathering every other week for our Meditation and Movement in Nature. Most of the time we settle in the bushy plateau above the falls. It feels a natural gathering place, and has various nooks and crannies for exploration. There is rocky outcrops with flat slab boulders - perfect for looking out over the landscape and big enough for some yoga asana flow. It is a perfect space for rest and rejuvenation. Our small campfire space is central, nestled in a clearing in the shrubs, some big Eucalyptus nearby. There are some lovely sit spots throughout. To the south-east, some more rock sharpens its edges. You can perch there and look out over the creek deep below, another seam of rocky corridor winding its path along the hillside over the way.
The Falls themselves remain largely hidden. Glimpses of water as it begins it’s downwards tip of gravity, flicker in and out of sight. A red conglomerate rock cavern lies below the falls. It feels earthy and ancient. It is large, in a contained kind of way. From the steep concave roof the floor of the cave slopes medium steep outwards, a few small ledges and depressions lend themselves to sitting. You can even spread out and lie on the earth - on a upper ledge the rocky roof of the cave is only centimeters overhead. The water cascades into a shallow rockpool, refreshing immersion can be felt as water beats upon body - if one is game. The effort is worth it.
Nowadays, the falls are reached via a unmarked, weaving track. The track starts at the small gravel car-park. Coincidentally the car-park and entrance are right near one of the origins of the falls. A spring seeps up and spills over and forms a tiny twinkling stream. Sometimes the spring water bubbles into the car park and turns the access to soft bog mud. A feeling of beginning can be felt if you listen carefully enough. As you get out of the car, and step off the 'pavement' the small features of the often quiet landscape welcome you.
The walking track has sections of semi-steep scramble as it winds its way through rocky boulder rocks. I call these rocks Guardians. They seem to stand in attention, rocky outcrops that tower around the falls. They are indeed a natural physical pause place that requires effort, careful attention and inspires reverence as you enter and pass by.
Each time I pass I say hello and ask permission (sometimes inwardly, sometimes aloud). There are a few of these natural pause places along the track: a rough grey barked gum with a weaving shape that calls out as the track flattens a little and sharply turns. A wet steep slippery section as you come to the outer edge of the cavern, a protruding boulder gives a place to stand in reverence and a balancing handhold as the final descent into the cave is negotiated.
This is a place of strong feeling. We only come here some of the time. It feels like a place for special business. Special intent.
Inspired in part by Being with Country's exploration of liyan: connection and seeing through feeling and rai: the spiritual entity in country we have walked slowly, felt deeply and connected land and spirit with our whole being.
For those of you who can't make it to the weekly sessions, and practice from afar, check out this ABC Open
clip Feeling Country, with Nia Emmanouil's (Being with Country) experiences and descriptions giving a introduction to liyan, rai and the Lurujarri Dreaming Trail.
And for those who like a more academic read, you can access descriptions of Nia's PHD - important work in the realm of indigenous and non-indigenous people-in-place relationships and collective acts of being with country.
This blog space is for sporadic sharing...
I enjoy this forum for writing, reflection, sharing. And, at other times I am out bush or in-life and don't venture online. I take guidance from the heart and head in relation to my online connectivity. See you here monthly or so.
The Natural Space to be
Blog: Natural NoticingS