Grandfather ghost gum at Emily Creek, just outside Alice Springs
Last week I had the great fortune of spending a week out in Alice Springs, my home of 3 years (2006-2008), and still my heart’s home, where I had organised for my teacher and friend Amber Gray to teach a series of workshops in somatic trauma therapy and Continuum Movement (see www.restorativeresources.net to check out some of Amber’s incredible work).
One of my favourite things in the world is to sleep out in a swag, under the stars, in a dry desert creek bed. Just ten minutes out of town, we spent a few nights sleeping out under this magnificent ghost gum at Emily Creek, with the full moon and night birds as our companions. Although it was late each night we arrived to camp, and dawn when we woke to pack up camp and head back into town, I felt incredibly rested and nourished. I was reminded of the importance of connecting deeply with nature, and celebrating her beauty, her gifts, and her peace.
(Photo courtesy of Heike Qualitz)
To place your feet directly in the earth, to watch the flickering glow of a camp fire, to listen to the calls of so many different birds, to chase the tracks of lizards and dingoes in the sand, and to gaze into the night sky to remember your place, your home, your heart. This too is yoga. The yoga of listening. The yoga of gratitude. The yoga of being. The yoga that is union: feeling deeply connected to our earth, to all the creatures we share her with, and remembering our fundamental humanity.
So if it’s been a while, switch off your phone, shut down your laptop, kick off your shoes and take yourself to your favourite place in nature to celebrate, renew, and remember. Your body, your spirit, and your heart will thank you. And so will the earth, for remembering to appreciate her beauty.
I love to touch this fragrant earth pod
with feet toughened by love
of hard dirt and soft dirt and clay
of rock and sand and salt that’s left
like the taste of a breeze caressing coast,
evaporated kiss of sea.