We walk down the footpath in the darkness for the first time, barefoot on rural earth, cider in hand, slight stumbles and whispered slurs. As we step onto the warm sand there is a still silence as we take it in, the constellations so clear above, alive in a way our city hooded eyes had never seen, in the distance the waves leap onto the shore in a serene melody and the air around stirs clean and calm.
A bunch of backpackers from cities around the world are brought together in this moment to admire a nature so lost and so unfairly alien that we are all connected in our awe, our desire to reconcile with mother earth and her secrets, secrets like this one.
To be away from the place we’ve come from, to be there in the moment on a high from natural bliss, to be something more than our physical boulders, cementing us down in our man made chaos. And I talk to them in clusters around the beach, listen in on conversation, lose lips tangle up truths. shakey minds let tidbits slip through the gaps. We’re all at our most vulnerable and filled up with emotion. Some people are there for adventure, for stories to write home about. Others are seeking a new life, a chance for a fresh start, experience to still their panicked minds.
Then there are us , the youthful, the reckless, the ones blind to expectant reality, wanderers with uncertain fates. But we’re all united here on a desolate beach, in Port Stephens, Australia, looking up at the same star filled sky, seeing all varying possibilities in their illuminations, all comforted and terrified simultaneously by what is and what will be and what could be.