It had been a while since we did a bush walk as a family, so hitting this track near our home was a much needed experience. We actually had to have two gos because the first time was fraught even before we started, with a very distressing accident in the carpark that landed us in the ED of our local hospital. On the next day, On this day, we returned haggard but eager, attempting to fill this landscape with good memories to banish the bad ones.
The steep climb at the start tested our resolve. “It’s so wet, we could slip… the carrier is heavy, the baby is heavy, my legs are short… this track sucks…” There was an f-bomb here, an outburst there. It went on like this until we reached the heights of the ridge, and gained better footing. That’s when we shifted. We started the small talk, the recalling of fun times, laughing at anecdotes of previous walks. We nosied around the plants, picking leaves and photographing flowers and mushrooms and the views. We were simply forgetting ourselves for a little while and getting childlike again.
Flannel flowers were scattered throughout the track. It reminded me of the little flannel flower used as a bush flower remedy. Just like that flower, this one seemed to signal the carefree, playful and joyful episode, the disappeareance of the grimness of adults and the dissolving of any seriousness in my child, who had experienced pain and shock at that very place one day before. It was a very healing and truly transformative experience.