I went for a walk this morning. A beautiful Autumn morning: some warmth in the sun but not too much. Walking has become a kind of mental health necessity – get outside, breathe air, look at trees, sky, breathe more air, listen, keep walking. There is a stillness and quietness - one of the more positive bi-products of the ‘shut down’. I find people are quieter, more respectful of each other’s space. In nearly an hour walking along our creek I saw four people, a quiet ‘good morning’ and a smile as we pass each other, and then solitude again.
There is a bend in the creek where it comes up against a stone escarpment and an ancient gum tree hovers over the creek at an angle. This place feels old and sacred and I am drawn to spend some time here, listening, watching the tea coloured water as the sunlight glints and shines through to the stones beneath. I could stay here for hours.
I look up to the trees framing my view and see first one, then two kookaburras sitting quietly above, watching. I get a little closer but not too close. The kookaburra nearest to me turns and looks at me, and I look at the kookaburra, fascinated and honoured that it deigns to look at me and not take flight. I feel like time stands still.
I have in this moment a glimpse of something profound, a small window of connection to the people of this land who for thousands of years have looked at the animals and birds and woven stories and meaning around them. In this moment I can believe that the kookaburra knows things I will never know, that they have a connection to the land and its history and its people that I will never truly understand. Although it is only a glimpse, I feel intensely moved and honoured and humble and awestruck and comforted and curious and full of joy. And then the kookaburra turns, stretches his wings and lazily flies off, following the creek as it winds around the rocky outcrop, out of sight.