Moving in flow

I amble along the dark brown dirt track, the warmth of this hot summer’s day is sticking to my skin, making it glisten with a light coat of sweat. I tell myself it’s not much further until we find relief. To my left is thick green bushland as far as the eye can see and to my right there is a rock as big as a ship. That’s why it’s called ship rock but this is not the reason we came to this secluded forest today. Sticking to the track as it winds its way through the tall trees, I purposely step on the dry brown leaves and anticipate each satisfying crunch they make under my shoes. Alexis, my eldest daughter, runs off in front to get to the viewing platform first. She holds onto the wooden rail, stands on her tiptoes and yells back to us, “I can see it, I can see it”. Rushing back to meet us, she leads the way as we take the partially hidden trail veering off to the left. By now we can hear a soft thundering noise in the distance and the sweet sound makes me smile instantly.

Becoming much steeper the terrain turns to loose dirt between mountains of grey speckled boulders. Portia, my youngest daughter grabs my hand to stop from slipping down the dry embankment. Last time we were here it would have been winter. The moss on the grey boulders was bright green and slimy. Today it’s spiky and turning yellow from the intense sun. A shiny green skink scurries along the warm rocks between my kids, making Portia squeal with delight. Finding shade under the thick green canopy we step onto a smooth rock, turned dark grey from splashing water of the stream rushing by, bringing us instant relief. This water is the run off from the cascading waterfall towering above our heads.

There is something about a waterfall, the way it takes your breath away and lures you in to watch its entertaining dance down the rocks. We know where the best seats in the house are and one by one we climb up between the boulders. Alexis confidently goes ahead while I give Portia a little extra help pushing her up to reach the next ledge. There is a group of older teens wading in the cool waters that say “hi” as we make our way up to the top of the waterfall. I watch my children spring up the next set of rocks while the weight of my back pack and camera hold me down, wishing I had their agile ability, I find strength and claw my way to join them at the top. We stop to take in the breath taking view of the horizon filled with green. We are tall as trees. The leaves look different from this vantage point and rustle even without a breeze. The scent of Eucalypt still lingers in the air despite the lack of rain in the past week.

Alexis calls from afar “find your way down here”. She has ventured down the other side of the waterfall to the spot we know we want to be. Portia grabs my hand until we get to the flat ledge. Even though a slender fallen tree is blocking our path, it doesn’t stop us and we climb through the wiry limbs. A cool mist hits my face, making me giggle, my eyes automatically close and I breathe deeper. One more descent and we are there. Treading lightly on what looks like a rotted log, it deceivingly holds my weight but I still use my hands on a nearby boulder to help guide my way down, just in case. Sunbaking at the end of the log we spot a brown lizard, it doesn’t blink or move while we inspect its shiny scales and long sharp claws.
The roaring thunder of the waterfall draws me closer. I am mesmerised. The water streams out from a darkened cave with such force it has me wondering how it keeps flowing. The foaming bubbles pop as they slide down the rock face. I guide my children carefully over two slippery rocks to safety and then myself. We made it. This ledge is big enough for the three of us. We take off our shoes, our warm sweaty socks and dip our toes into the cool fresh pool of water to soothe our tired feet. Staring at my toes I am amazed how clear and clean the water is. I absorb myself in the atmosphere, lapping in the power of nature around me.

The wisdom I gain from being in nature is phenomenal. I unplug from my daily life and can absorb in the healing power it has on offer. Being here, staring at the cascading water is reminding me to keep moving in the flow of life.