Monday, 7 January 2013


I have often had trouble with the concept of spirituality. It seems to me to be such an ambiguous term. I mean, how does one coherently measure spirituality? Is the person who closes her eyes during prayer more in touch? Maybe it's the man who shuckles? Perhaps it is found in the image of a mother nursing her newborn. Whatever it is that defines spirituality, I have yet to figure it out for myself. I believe in a higher power and have seen wonders in this world that defy worldly explanation, but is that spiritual?

Today was one of those days when I witnessed God's majesty. We were up incredibly early for our flights out of Sydney direct to Ayres Rock. Or so we believed. About a half an hour into the trip, a woman on the plane took ill. Very ill. Diverting the plane to Adelaide ill. Flight attendants pleading for doctors on board, running up and down the aisle with oxygen, all in an attempt to revive an unconscious passenger. When we landed in Adelaide, the lady did managed to walk off on her own, but we have since been told that she suffered a mild stroke. Maybe the spirituality was found in the one doctor on board that jumped in to help, or the fact that one of the flight attendants was a nurse?

We continued on to Ayres Rock an hour late on one of the bumpiest, most miserable flights I have ever encountered. Still haven't "Chundered Down Under", (Thank you Higher Power!) but I was struck with vertigo for several hours after the flight. Maybe I embraced my spirituality with my determined effort to keep my insides from coming out.

We arrived at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and were greeted by searing and blasting heat. There wasn't enough liquid anywhere to keep us hydrated. We made three stops around the rock for closer views, each more breathtaking than the last. The second stop included a hike up into the Walpa Gorge. This almost 3km walkabout wouldn't normally phase either The Husband or myself, but it was 45 degrees Celsius and the hike was on very rocky paths. My vertigo still had me swaying, but I'd damned if I travelled 15,000 km to wait in the bus. (Mom you would have been so proud!!) Off we went, and we are so glad that we did. It was kind of like jogging on a treadmill at elevation 5 if you had placed the machine inside a sauna! Along with majestic rock formations, we spotted our first wild roo. He just went zipping right past up. Perhaps there was spirituality in that happy accident?

We ended our day watching the sunset over Ulhuru. This is a place of deep spiritual importance for the Aborigines. I must say that witnessing the rock change colours at dusk had me convinced of God's power.

Today was a day filled with potential tragedy that was averted, sickness held at bay, overcoming sweltering heat, and seeing some of the most unique natural wonders in the world. I think I will take a measure of spiritual awakening from all of that.

For your information: Palya is an Aboriginal greeting much like Shalom. It means welcome, goodbye, and peace be with you.


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