For some people it’s the expanse of the ocean, for others it’s the grandeur of the mountains. I can imagine the romance of the red open plains or the enveloping of a familiar mallee scrub.
Some are lucky enough to find it in their everyday, but I still need to be “away” to find it.
I know you’ve felt it.
You capture a glimpse. In the distance. And it twinkles, just for you.
Your chest bellows, your smile erupts. Your body expands.
A place of solitude.
A place to refresh.
A place to re-ground.
Usually a place of unintended mindfulness.
A connection unexplained. A heart rate sustained.
For Mr Metamucil, it is the Snowy Mountains. The high country of the flattest, island and continent in the world.
A landscape of twisted gum trees, lazing kangaroos, curious wombats and in the summer, the most annoying bush flies you will ever encounter.
I can understand the allure. There is something untouched and untamed. Sepia-toned pictures show that not that much has changed, even in the most populated towns.
These sleepy little hamlets, crowded during a very short snow season, use the warmer months to defrost and recharge.
The picture perfect horizon, that big blue sky. Stars so bright, it looks like a blanket has been haphazardly picked at…someone has been busy.
The emerging song of the corroboree frog, the sunbaking of the alpine copperhead. The blanket of wildflowers that fill the mountaintop.
It appears that everyone, and everything, comes out to re-ground and re-fresh.
There’s an explosion of road cyclists tackling the climb out of Jindabyne on their way to Thredbo, willing their legs to make it just to the next corner, whilst mountain bikers fuel up at the breakfast buffet, before they’re off to explore the vast trails that criss-cross this untouched and vast domain.
Lake Jindabyne is a cacophony of colour. Kayakers in their brightly coloured craft, weekend sailors adjusting the sheet and wondering, “will she be kind, or will she turn?” Because in the mountains, you need to respect her, or she’ll whip your pants down, no questions asked.
The day hikers are prepped, insect repellent on hand. Backpack with the essentials. There are no selfie sticks here.
Whilst the fishermen sit patiently, listening to the wireless and wondering if Australia can really bowl India out in two sessions, and perhaps momentarily forget, why they’re out there.
And they’re not alone, because despite all the doing and the huffing and puffing, you can see it….the connection with a moment, a place.
The caravan park is full of campers and caravan-ers. We’ve arrived at our destination. Time to stretch the legs, breathe deeply and look up. What’s the frequency for the ABC here?
The shelves of the fruit and vege aisles are empty, they haven’t refilled since Christmas Eve and re-stocking only occurs weekly. The planned stir fry becomes more rice and less veges. I probably eat too many veges, anyway.
And it doesn’t seem to matter. The bushflies, the sunburn, the dirt encrusted crevices.
Because when we’re away from our comforts, our routines, our everyday… something happens.
Right there, before we know it.
That fleeting moment, whether we realise it or not.
The re-charge formula.
And even if only for a moment, we realise, life is good.
Know what I mean?