Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Opening Hearts and Minds

There is striking beauty in the barrenness of the desert. The fiery ferrous hue of the sand provides an almost perfect balance against the clear blue of the sky. The vegetation gives off the impression of ordered chaos; purpose in its placement. The intense heat here in the Northern Territory Outback makes us truly appreciate the elements in which we live. Water is our life spring and fire our unexpected visitor.

The Aboriginal tribes of Anangu who live on and manage the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park have known these things for thousands of years. This land was created by their ancestors and they still believe in and abide by the laws and culure that have been handed down.

We had an opportunity to visit the cultural centre at the park and were introduced to two young Anangu women who explained the various tools, artwork, family roles, and heritage of their people. They joked with us in their native tongues and found it funny that we would travel so far when they live so near. The land was handed back to the native peoples several years ago, and they have taken great care to return their dignity to the place. I love the Aboriginal art and am hoping to convince The Husband to buy a small piece. Each canvas tells a story that is personal to the artist.

We had an opportunity to walk near the base of the rock and see some Aboriginal cave paintings. A native bulletin board as it were. Climbing the rock is frowned upon and there is very limited access to it, but at the height of the summer it is strictly forbidden.

We piled back into the coach for our 5 hour trip to Alice Springs. The starkness of the Outback was breathtaking to witness over this long stretch of highway, but it also meant more motion for Dawn. Oh how I wish that I could teleport from place to place. A beam me up Scotty moment would be very handy right now.

In Sydney I kept having "Finding Nemo" moments. You know....Sydney Harbour, the seagulls, etc. But in the Outback I keep looking for Mick Dundee. I half expect him to cook me a goana for dinner.


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