Carrying our NORTH seeds home...
We're on the way home, brimming with hefty seeds of wisdom, potential and growth. The flat dry land of out back Queensland, Australia is now our back drop as we digest the many, many wonderful and meaningful moments of the last 6 weeks.
Every year when we visit with our Yolngu adopted family in Arnhem Land we are shown more and more of the true beauty and power of this ancient culture. This year was no exception as we were invited to witness one of the many long held and unchanged initiation ceremonies of Yolngu culture.
The Mäpuru elders invited both our men's and women's groups to witness the making of a young man ceremony. The ceremony went on for many days and included traditional dancing, singing, painting and ritual ceremony. We were asked to not share photos nor the heart of the ceremony. Necessary protection in case the ears who hear the story are tone deaf to the power it contains.
After such a deep experience of Yolngu ceremony both the women's and men's groups were deeply moved. We all travelled onto country at lulu'mirri beach and camped out for 3 days. We were blessed by the full moon, the lunar eclipse and a soft wind. One of the best fishing spots was a 12km round trip which my 6 year old son, Hunter, valiantly walked all the time dreaming of yindipuy guya mala (fish, fish and more fish)!
After walking with Hunter and spending some time watching turtles, dolphins play and fish pop out of the deep ocean I decided to leave. I walked back in the heat of the day, attentively picking my way across the rocks at the water's edge. Ever watchful of course for Saltwater Crocodile moving through the turquoise water. Half way along I was sure I could see two black bodies, one Yolngu standing holding a fish spear and one sitting in the shade of a rock ledge. They were looking out over the water, talking perhaps.
As I walked closer I was expecting to meet family but I could see nothing. They were gone.
Later that night by the fire I asked my family about the Yolngu I had seen. My ngändi (Mother) and mokul (Aunty) straight away talked of the old people whose bones are still resting not far from where we camped. They too had seen and heard them that day.
They clearly heard their voices calling to them and felt them moving through the wind and the sea. As part land and part ancestor they were at all times tracking our footsteps as we moved through the land.
In that moment I realised that in death these old people are still alive through the land. It became clear the Yolngu ancestors are deeply embedded in this sacred country, able to hold their awareness and life through out what we call death. I realised that all across this sacred land we call Australia these ancestors are still living.
Kate Rydge & Sam Robertson
Nature Philosophy Australia Co-Founders
To find out more about these trips click HERE.