Bellingen, New South Wales.
A former travel companion once spoke so highly of a place just off the east coast of Australia, where she believed that it was the only place she truly felt herself. Where all her insecurities disappeared and felt at peace. I didn’t believe her. I didn’t believe such a place could exist. In my own stubborn mind, I believed that peace can only be gained through internal means. To know yourself and know yourself well. To accept your flaws and to accept that not everything in life is within your reach. To understand the importance of focusing on your strengths instead of what you can’t control.
Although that may be true, who was I to say that a certain place in the world couldn’t give you that.
I didn’t believe it at the time.
I had barely any money left from my travels but I wanted to stay in the town as oppose to joining my travel companions to help garden in a self sufficient community nearby. (More on these communities in later posts). Instead, I volunteered to work for my accommodation in a hostel just off the high street, which faced beautiful mountain views. This was the last stop of my four week long road trip.
Immediately upon arriving, I felt immersed in an aura I couldn’t fully understand. Now I’m not some kind of superstitious person, in fact, I have become more cynical over the years but this place did have an energy I couldn’t quite put together. A feeling that made me question my life and how I had been living.
The following day, I befriended a fellow worker who asked me to join her for a swim in the river. I asked her if she felt the energy I was feeling. As we stepped into the water she told me that this place had a very feminine energy, she continued to tell me a tale of how, once upon a time, aboriginal women used to get together and give birth in the very river that we were in. I pondered on this thought for a while as we made our way back to the hostel.
She was right about the feminine energy. For me, it felt like a place to heal. Like when you return into your mothers arms after times of tribulation. It replenished you and gave you comfort. It made me feel love the way it should be felt. Not love for materialistic ideologies or mere sexual gratification but the love for community. The love for life, all it’s wonders and simple pleasures. It opened my mind to alternative lifestyles and made me see the beauty in nature.
Maybe that’s what my former travel companion meant.