At our morning circle today we began with a reflection about mindfulness. This walk is in some ways a pilgrimage, and so each day we will be carrying a thought with us, to reflect upon in our conversations, walking, or quiet space we can find during the day. So far we have focused on “gratitude” and “hope” – core words which have provoked many considerations from different people in the group.
Today’s concept was “mindfulness”. People went around the group and shared a word or thought about what they wanted to be mindful of. Some words shared included the birds, our words, the children, our energy levels, our breath, the wind, our hygiene, our five senses, not taking things so seriously, the spirits that have walked this land before us, how we place our feet on the ground…
Needless to say, it was an inspiring way to focus and start our day.
Today we had another 15km day, along the red sandy back-road heading south east towards Leonora. We hit the Goldfields Highway at the end of the walk today, a good signpost of how far we have come, but the group will miss the red roads. We all have developed peculiar desert chic style in our efforts to remain comfortable and sun-protected with our long days out in the sun – perhaps a fashion parade will be in order!
The most amazing part of today was the privilege of walking across to the start of the Barr Smith Ranges. Peter Muir came out to join us this afternoon, and he is one of the elders who has fought to protect this area. The Barr Smith Rangers were set out to be decimated by mining in the late 1980’s, and Peter was one of the people on the front line of the charge to ensure that the area, with heritage sites and sacred grounds, was protected.
Walking through the edges of these ranges, you got a sense of how small we are as we pass through this ancient land. It is ancient, many have gone before us, and while we are here we need to respect this space, respect this land, respect our past, respect the future.