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A mystical intrusion in nature

  • 20 November 2019


A fresh water creek is rushing in the distance and the echo of kangaroo paws thump, thump, thumping along the dry grass vibrates through the nearby gums. The fading daylight is making my dull human eyes weak. As far as I can tell, there are no other people around for dozens of kilometres. And with the sun starting to play hide-and-seek behind the first mountain, I realise we are all alone out here — and it's about to get very cold.

Each natural sound in this mountainous arena is making up one instrument in a unique natural orchestra. Soon, it will be joined by the crackle and pop of a fire cooking a campside dinner. I can't help but be disappointed with myself as I take steps in my hiking boots. The thick rubber soles crunch the dry leaves, disturbing the natural soundscape. I am an intruder here.

As I pull my camera out of its bag to take one last photo, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of peace. It's been five days since I've looked at my iPhone — after all, there's no reception out here. And honestly, it's a relief to be forced into solitude which no notification or phone call can disrupt. Out here, there's nothing to do but stare at the pastel orange sky which is slowly melting into a glorious pink.

I'd like to think this feeling washing over me is exactly what John Lennon felt when he wrote the lyrics 'No hell below us, above us only sky.' Because in moments like this, when we let nature consume our mind and our hearts, we are encountering nothing short of grace.


As a child I was always taken by the silence in some Catholic churches. It was a mystery how even when an old stone building was filled with dozens of people, it could be so quiet that you could only hear your own breathing. And while, as I grew older I seldom found myself entering a church or cathedral, I still experience that same eerie silence when I venture beyond the urban sprawl and into the natural world.

Nature is always holding its breath, whether after the crack of lightning, or when a strong gush of wind has finally settled. Sometimes this reprieve only lasts a moment before the trees begin whispering again or the birds recover their song. But in this silence, nature is a beautifully complex