A day I spent hiking in the Blue Mountains with my mother, sister, my two brothers and brother-in-law was definitely a time I remember fondly. We fussed around in the morning as it always is with my sister; she and her newly-wed husband slept into the morning ignoring their alarm, while the rest of us questioned their whereabouts with heightened irritation, as I said, this is a regular occurrence. We finally got in the car, spent forty minutes driving until we arrived at Empress Falls and we waited for the two lazy-birds among the great gorge that appeared before us. The crisp mornings of May had started and while the sun reached our skin ever so lightly it was enough to make you feel warm and want more, yet a shiver still remained. So the latecomers finally arrived and we set off for our three-hour hike. It was beautiful, it always is with the fresh smell of eucalyptus mixed with the damp clay rocks, all encompassed by the cold touch of the old metal railings, you are certain won’t hold your weight, the songs from the array of birds and the heat that immediately starts to radiate through your body. All these feelings are common to me and have the effect of making you feel alive, and positive and energetic. The chatter commences as it always does, catching up on trivial things, discussing work, school… people, as we all admittedly do, yet without a doubt, this always comes to an end and we all, in single file, hike in silence, and listen to sounds of nature. For me, this is sometimes the most enjoyable part of the hike. Everyone is content, walking for pleasure and soaking in their surroundings, infused with a sense of wholeness and emptiness at the same time. For me, walking in these grand canyons and bush make me feel complete, for a feeling emerges that I am completely connecting with something bigger. This can also do the opposite, in the sense that I feel so small, so insignificant to the big world that truly counts, the animals, the trees, the birds, the insects, that all live in perfect unison, intuitively with the land and air. Moments like this when I see a huge cliff face, a bird flies over as I’m approaching its location and washes its feathers in just one drop of water that is repeatedly dripping. As I approach, the bird senses me yet does not scare away, my path passes right by the bird and it continues to soak up the water, using the environment as it needs. In that moment I realised that is more around than just the bird receiving the water as I walked past. There are energies deep ingrained in the rocks, the thick shrub, in the one-drop of water I have noticed in the last 2 hours of walking, where the bird chooses to fly over and stop just as I arrive. These occurrences aren’t just coincidences, they are the landscape working and showing me things that are more important than discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones with my brother. It is places like this that remind me there is more than just a material reality surrounding me but in fact, a spiritual reality that means so much more.