Walkabout at Wooloo Wooloo


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Here we go now, onto Granite country in Northern NSW, we’re bumping down a dusty road in my mates Hilux.

She drives it like a boat, fat arse flung wide, with me swinging in front beside her.

We talk for hours over a bag of trail mix, and smoke mint n’ mugwort cigarettes.

She has dreams of becoming a midwife, and bringing women back to birth on country.

The grey gums in the bush twist amongst the boulders, rearing up at the sky like kangaroos standing sentry over the land.

We’re here to visit Wooloo Wooloo, where Indigenous tribes from far and wide have held ceremony for hundreds of thousands of years.

This is where the bush stops and the scrub scuttles out to the baked red earth beyond the cusp of the Border Rangers.

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My mate yanks the handbrake parking the Hilux at the base of Wooloo Wooloo.

She says that we have to wait for permission to be on country.

So we jump out of the cab, sling our bags over our shoulders, and wait listening in silence.

Eucalyptus shrubs bob their yellow sticky balled blossoms on the breeze. A black ant jumps from one leaf to another and glows green in the sun. The trees breach from the Ferns and tower over the forest floor.

A Kookaburra dips past our heads and perches its fat belly on a branch of prickling bark. He cracks up laughing and so we start our walk up Wooloo Wooloo.

We are bare foot and silent.

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The granite breaks my feet wide open surrounded by a vista of mountains shaped by ancient thunder.

A sheet of grey cloud covers the sky and I sit and hold my face in my hands. The pain of my heart breaks its banks and tears fall like rain into the centre of the earth.

My mate comes up behind me and weaves her arms over my shoulders and around my chest. She puts her lips to my back, and speaks warm words in her mother tongue.

A great big voice rises up from Wooloo Wooloo, and sings me a song of earth core fire. I fall on my back laughing hysterically, for so long that my body bleeds on the granite.

My mate kisses my forehead and walks on towards her own journey in silence.

I fall asleep peacefully and rest in the womb of our mothers jewels.

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Wooloo Wooloo shows me a dream.

A waterfall runs into pools cupped in black rock, where indigenous woman have gathered to deliver a child.

They stand knee deep in the water over the mother lying down.

The baby is born, her face brought slowly to the surface. She flinches at the sun and wails across the tree tops.

Three black cockatoos fly overhead and sing their Jurrasic song.

 


 

I love this land, born from the belly of Gwandwana.

Iron barked bones and red earthed blood. Sun kissed goanna skin and snake eyes on the hunt.

In the scrub, past the ‘roos, and beyond the bottlebrush, i see the dreamtime swirl in the pastels of the paper bark.

I walk the land in the wake of the Rainbow Serpent.

It always was, and always will be.


 

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