There are times when you need to don the boots, fill the pack and simply walk away… "walk away brother"… that's what I tell myself. It's not so much about walking away from reality or your problems, it's more about walking towards what is real, what will remind us that the world that rules us all is the one that is natural. The cars, houses, buildings and mega markets are all meaningless when we put ourselves back into the rawness of the bush. A reminder that is more important than ever in our world of technology, which don't get me wrong, I embrace technology, I just like to see evidence that the real world still exists.
Years ago when I worked like a dog in the city I rarely saw the bush. I admit, I was more interested in the lure of city living. I went out a lot, for dinner, drinks and general socialising. But there was always something odd, something out of place. As it turns out it was me. I didn't belong in that city life. I never understood the people I was in regular contact with. I didn't really understand what they were talking about, why they aspired, what they aspired, which was more often than not… wealth of materials.
Sometimes when the pressure of city living would build to boiling point, I'd pack up my car and head bush. At times there would be a sense of insecurity, even fear, of the bush. Even though I grew up there, I would still be intimated. Why? Because I'd become a synthetic human. I'd spent far too much time at a desk under dull lights staring at a computer. I'd eat in the tea room, or the cafeteria with the other robots, and I'd spend hours between 8am - 5pm working on databases and spreadsheets and numerous other useless tasks. So when it came to the breaking point, I'd pack the camping gear in the car and head bush, I ended up both intimidated and impressed by the bush, as it had become foreign to a certain extent.
That was then. Now that I've been back for well over 12 years I don't feel nearly as intimidated, in fact not at all. I embrace those moments in the bush, out in the fields whilst hunting, fishing or just hiking. I guess I take it for granted now, that my morning walk is out past fields and paddocks filled with rabbit, fox and kangaroo. I walk bush with snakes and lizards, wallabies and echidna. I'm comforted by the sounds of the bush, the wind through the eucalyptus, the birds that I'm familiar with and the odd noises of the Australian bush like the male grunting koala and the morbid sounds of barking owls and the screech of birds of prey like the black shouldered kite.
Thankfully I can share this with my buddy Kate. She seems to feel the same way about the bush, even though she's a born and bred city girl. She leaves me for dead in regards to fitness, but I get there in the end, although I may arrive up the mountain 10 minutes later than her. No matter. I'm just so stoked I have someone to share this beautiful natural world with. We all have the opportunity to get out amongst it. To get away from the synthetic and back to what is in fact the only real thing on this planet. Nature.
So this weekend we packed the Jeep and headed west for a hike. It was steep, hard work but extremely rewarding. I fed us a meal of poached chicken (from one of our girls I dispatched a few weeks ago), some eggplant grilled with a little olive oil love and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.