Back to Australia
I worked for nearly four years in the remoteness of a Bangladesh province. It was a primitive life where the comforts of civilization were so remote.
Indispensable services like electricity, running water, sewage and telephone were luxuries that existed, but in faraway countries.
Those had been crude years that really tested my resistance to life’s difficulties, and upon my return home I was mentally and physically exhausted. I didn’t know that something awesome was waiting for me.
I found the house empty and no sign that Clare had lived there recently. Neighbors and friends didn’t have seen her for a long time and couldn’t tell me where she went. I couldn’t ever ask to her father, who had passed away with a heart attack while I was in Bangladesh.
It was signed that nobody had lived in the house for some time, and vandals had damaged the residence extensively. This unexpected situation precipitated me into a deeper crisis that took me to the verge of a mental breakdown.
I felt old, without any desire to readjust my life in the surrounding world. Finally, good sense compelled me to fight back. I had to reinvent myself to create a new stronger me, capable of accepting that inevitable situation and the strength to react accordingly.
I was in my fifties, the age when the majority of people are at the apex of their life reaping the benefits of their success in the workplace and with their family but there was nothing for me. It was like being at the bottom of a dark pit with smooth slippery walls where I couldn’t get a grip to return to the surface of my new life. I had completely forgotten the normal joys of life, buried under the rubble of unnecessary adversities.
It took time to return to normality, but my resolution eventually won, and slowly, bit by bit, I again took control of my life. Again, the necessary peace of mind returned to me. In the next year, I did what I most liked to do. I bought a compact four-wheel-drive mobile home and traveled lazily around the isolated region of Northern Australia, spending my time in meditation. I also fished, read, dreamed, and mostly tried to forget the past and plan a better future. I learned the natural laws of survival, observing the undisturbed wildlife that surrounded me in the remoteness of the vast Australian outback, where the wild animals adjust their lives in the bushland in an impervious terrain and climate.
Time hadn’t any meaning to me. I wasn’t rushing. This kind of life suited me. I was opening myself in front of the mysteries of that primordial existence, where only the strong can survive. I accepted those rules dictated by nature. I had to learn those secrets of the environment through the creatures that lived there.
The simplicity of those laws of survival helped me to gain and maintain the internal calm so imperative at that time of my life, while I was considering other possibilities left open for my future.
During the year I was away I found that this was the best place on this earth to return me to the person I once was. This vast land spanned across the north part of Australia, from the Kimberley in Western Australia to Cape York in Queensland.
This territory is so remote that it felt like no man had ever been around and where the sky stretched to horizons so far away it seemed endless.
There was complete isolation with the most fascinating views, and where nature was still as primitive as it was at the time of creation. The land was larger than that part of Europe spanning from Portugal to Turkey, with only a few thousand people living there and the majority of the population were local Aboriginals who had lived here throughout time.
Large National Parks were created here to preserve and protect the environment and some rare species from extinction. These National Parks offered many opportunities to those few and brave at heart, who ventured into those inaccessible regions. They would find that those risks were rewarded with incomparable beauty equalling those narrated in the legend of the Garden of Eden and would be left with memories that would never be forgotten.
It was at The Kimberley where I could again sense a return to the spirituality that I had lost living in the concrete jungle of the city. It was the resurging of those missed ties with a creation that gave me a resurrected belief in God. Suddenly I found it clear and evident in front of my eyes, as I witnessed the miracles of that immense procreation, opening up, day after day, and moving from one unsurpassed wonder to the next, bigger and more magnificent. These beauties left me breathless and stunned by the inconceivably natural grandeur.
Land, mountains, gorges, rivers, were untouched and unchanged by human greediness, left intact since those days when time began.
This was also the land that in the remoteness of the past saw dinosaurs roaming undisturbed, over the immensity of these plains and they left their prints for us, still visible in the petrified clay of that time.
The caves which were scattered around the escarpment were home to those primitive Aboriginals who had lived in The Kimberley, or nearby. They also had left evidence of their way of life, the way they hunted goannas and kangaroos or fished barramundi along rivers or in billabongs. Thousands of years had passed since those days, but unbelievably their descendants still practiced the same skills in the same way; their lives vividly documented and left for posterity, in those primitive drawings scratched on the rock walls in the caves that had been their home.
Throughout this region, the roads were practically non-existent. There were only a few dirt tracks, used by off-road vehicles and visible in the distance over the red sand, curling around trees and rocks on their way to descend into the inland deserts.
But this isolation had been vital to preserving the life of a few rare species living in the area. Also, the undisturbed flora, which had been preserved from destruction, included some of the most beautiful wildflowers blossoming in secluded places.
I had been through experiences that had certainly helped me to gain stability during those difficult days of my life. Those secrets that nature revealed to me were like an open invitation to my soul to meditate and become calmer and wiser.
I was in search of my lost spirituality and inner calm, so I needed seclusion from the noisy world that had surrounded me in the past and I purposely stayed off the usual beaten tracks and the corruption of civilization, even though from time to time I had to venture into a town for some necessary and indispensable provisions.
Occasionally I crossed other people. They were mainly the local Aborigines, but they didn’t bother my spiritual seclusion. I was able to accept their simplicity of life and they were more akin to my needs and, apart from them, I had the chance to learn the skills of survival. I learned how to hunt and fish with the spear and how to cook goanna, snake, and barramundi in the ashes of the fire. Their way was so primitive and simple; the same way used thousand of years ago, from those that first lived there, but such simplicity still guaranteed the chance to survive today in the outback of this country.
I traveled in the dry winter season, leaving behind me the main coastal roads and the crowded tourist places, full of people and noises, scattered from Brisbane to Broome.
I discovered serene green waterways, red cliffs, and towering cabbage palms along gorges, where only the cry of waterbirds disturbed the peace. I went through National Parks in the northwest of Queensland, created essentially for the wilderness and inaccessible over the majority of the country, but giving away to open gorges, leading from narrow winding tracks that offered marvelous views. I reached reclusive areas with caves, preserving primitive aboriginal art. I found recessed tranquil water pools and many were deep and green with natural rock dams and cascading waterfalls. These locations had become the natural habitat of parrots, birds of prey, and woodland species that nestled along their banks.
In some more arid desert areas, in the southwestern corner of Queensland, I found places where I spent days fossicking for semi-precious gems, and that was one of my most rewarding passions during those days, that took me to locations featuring dry river beds rolling down into the central part of the continent. In these locations, I saw some of Australia’s best and most extensive dolomite caves.
But it was at the top of the Queensland coast, past Cooktown, when I entered the magnitude of the glorious tropical rainforests, that I found contentment. It was there that I come across the complete inner peace I was seeking the one that in my subconscious, had made me wander around for so long looking for.
I finally descended into the most beautiful natural cathedral. I saw secular, tall trees, with their supporting columns leading to tick vegetation high above, creating a mystical atmosphere all around, were only a scant dimmed light reached the foliage floor. This was the real worshipping place of God, in the way that I always saw it in my dreams, and were an absolute calm existed, and there was relative silence. Only in the background could I hear the melodious singing of birds, and to my ears it was like a harmonious sound showered from a cathedral organ, lifting to the sky a sacred hymn that was also whispered through the forest naves. All of it helped to create that complete form of mysticism that I had rarely felt before, even when I visited the largest temple of Christianity Saint Peter Cathedral in Rome.
Suddenly I knew I was in front of God the Creator, and humbly, I recognized the magnitude of His powers and knelt on the damp pavement of the forest. Mentally, I raised my thanks to Him.
End Part 1