Drinking in this landscape of salt laden harshness at the edge of the World. Sun a harsh reflector off the hardened ground with red leaved trees and shrubs casting unreasonable shade. Leafy green? Not one. At least the sky is reassuringly blue.
Impossible to believe I am finally here after 26 years of visualising it. What I expected? Yes and much more. Much and more are becoming more difficult to define as the mind absorbs into this otherworldly landscape.
Is just too hot and so silent. Foot crunch relieves the sound deprivation. A step forward in time continuing at a better pace. Something rhythmic in the sound that boosts confidence in finding something else that resonates with human touch, sight and sound.
This place of red white and blue insists only one sound at a time. Is as if the ears have become crunch echo chambers demanding acknowledgement of this sound that works to diminish my focus.
I will not be deterred from the mission with eyes and mind remaining focused, repeatedly drawn to the unreasonable shade. It is there. Is seen, but impossible to seek. To the trail, eyes swivel. They strain to look along the white, not seeing journeys end. Relief cannot be found.
Start swiveling towards the blue. In time to witness it being swallowed by big grey shadow crunching the blue as if God is devouring the Heavens. Crunch seems like it is almost on top of me, and then silence ….. almost.
A new sound from directly above, a rough rumble of waterfalls interferes with the sound. Reminds me of someone clearing their throat before speaking.
“Roundy, you finished your shot yet?”. “Who? Shot?” Head now on full swivel up. “Get your butt into gear. Bus is loaded except for you. Come on man, hurry up the shot!”.
Eyes wander towards the unreasonable shade. “Be reasonable, take me in“. God is insisting I leave, when I have just arrived. Take me, please …”, is mind whispered in that direction. But no response from this Lilliputian landscape. Unreasonable the shade will be forever. “Roundy! Hurry Up!!“, is thundered by God.
Mind is jerked back to the now with the unreasonable notion that I must leave the red white and blue. “Click ….. click ……click …. click”. Shots done. Start to push myself up from the prone position. For a moment the shirt stays glued to the white, reluctant to leave, but we finally part ways to standing position.
“About time”, is muttered under the Tour Guide’s breath. Crunch crunch crunch over the white, eyes down to the aged scrubby red plants that have survived and prospered for so long. “Goodbye” ghosts towards them. “Your world became my world for the briefest of time, even if your shade was most unreasonable”.
An inner chuckle and onto the Tour Bus, collective impatient groans towards me. I don’t care. None of them can see what my imagination has seen. They think of nothing else but patting the Dolphins of Monkey Mia. They can stay within their unreasonable ignorance.
Me? My most reasonable of imagination will never forget the Samphire ‘Forest’ of Shark Bay somewhere on the coastline of West Australia.
PHOTO: Circa 2005, pic by me. Fuzziness of the near white pebbles is a slight giveaway to this pic being taken in prone position. Tallest of these plants is about 0.5 metres high. Harsh conditions, massive salt count in the soil has led to their condition. Be careful, next time you crunch your way around World Heritage areas. Stick to the trails and look down and around. Marvel at the survival and flourishing of these plants. Lilliput World it is.