Solitude (HLD 381)

8 April 2021

This morning we did a hike through the bottom of a gorge near the coast. I was in the company of my husband and his sister, and it was a very congenial group to go wandering with.

There was a part of the walk where you could have deviated and climbed up the side of the gorge. It was a little longer distance (around 400m), but obviously a more strenuous way to get back to where the car was parked. The brother and sister duo are obviously part mountain goat, because this option sounded like an excellent idea to them. I, of course, am not an idiot, so I opted to return by the same route we had entered the gorge.

I spent a little under half an hour on my own. Meandering along the rocky dry river bed, surrounded on either side by towering red rocks.  Just me.

I could stop whenever I wanted to – taking photos, stopping for a breather under a shady spot, or just stopping to listen.

Having been in the company of families for the past couple of days, and sensing the fervent desire from the parents in these groups for Just. A. Little. Bit. Of. Peace….  I absorbed the solitude and acknowledged the peace that comes with no expectations from anyone else to be anywhere, or do anything, and without the need to keep up with someone.

Just me. Hot sun glaring down. Gentle breeze softening the intensity of the heat, on occasion. Not a soul in sight.

Of course, you’re never really alone. In nature, there is always some company.

In the gorge with me today, there was the constant noise of insects. Crickets, and other chirpy things. There were birds, some very noisy, some happy to sit and watch the strange creature stumbling along the river bed, pausing periodically to take photos. There were lizards, scurrying about, making sure they didn’t get trodden on. There were rock wallabies, sitting quietly in the shade, quite happy to have their photos taken, as long as I stayed a certain distance from their preferred space.

There was, of course, the strange call of the mountain goats, aka my husband and sister-in-law, who delighted in the traditional ‘coooee’ call whenever I wandered into their view.

And being Australia, you will never walk alone. You will always have the company of a millionty billion flies.

Solitude isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be 🙂

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