“Rain drops are not the ones who bring the clouds.”
~ Sorin Cerin, Wisdom Collection: The Book of Wisdom
The next installment in my Kimberley Story…
Before I tell you about the Fairy Mound, I need to give you some more back story.
If I don’t none of what I write after this will make much sense, so forgive me if I jump back in time again to my days living in the Kimberley.
It was about four months after Little Auntie’s sorry business and I was working back on that Outback property in the middle of the remote Kimberley. The isolation and lack of female company was getting to me, and although I was trying, my relationship was less than fulfilling. I felt depressed and alone, confused about who I was and where I was meant to be going with my life. All of this psychic stuff was unfolding for me, whether I wanted it to or not, and there was no-one I could talk to about it.
The wet season was well and truly over, the tall green grass long ago burned golden brown. There was no rain forecast. From here on in it would become drier and drier still. The mud had turned to dust and the smaller rivers were shrinking to a series of chained waterholes. The dry heat parched everything it touched.
I was alone in my room one hot still Sunday morning when a familiar old red truck rattled up from the river crossing and stopped near the machinery workshop. I peered through the curtains of my room, not feeling like engaging. A group of people tumbled out, talking and laughing, and the Aboriginal stockman and the Station’s mechanic came out of the shade where they had been drinking beer to see what was going on. It seemed the truck needed something welded.
“Where’s dat girl?” I heard a familiar voice saying. It was Auntie. The stockman waved a lazy hand in the direction of my room, and the old lady started walking over.
For a moment I considered ducking out the back door and hiding down in the lee of the riverbank. What was wrong with me? Instead I pulled my hair back off my face and caught it up behind my head with an elastic band, rammed on a hat, dragged on my boots and went outside into the baking heat to meet her.
“Plenny hot, hey?” Auntie laughed when she saw me, all red-faced and sweaty. “Come on. Dey gonna take all day fix dat truck. Get a water bottle and you come along me.”
I really didn’t want to go, but I didn’t know how to say no. I figured we’d be going down to the river to sit in the cool and look for rocks and fossils like we’d done a few times before.
“Alright,” I said reluctantly. I grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and met her at the gate. Auntie immediately set off at a steady pace, walking not towards the river, but away from it. I was dragging my feet before I’d even left the homestead.
We walked for over an hour, not following any particular track. The land was just gibbers (small stones), dust and small flowering grasses and shrubs. There was no shade. I could feel the air sucking me dry. I guess you could have called it pretty if you’d been in the mood. I was not in the mood.
“Here good enough,” Auntie suddenly pronounced, and she sat down in the dust.
I sank down beside her, slurping greedily from my water bottle. I offered some to her and she drank daintily before handing it back.
“Gonna show you sumping. Sumping you can do. Sumping already inside you.” She smiled at me cheekily and patted my leg, leaving a faint orange dust mark from her fingers.
“Why did we have to come all the way out here for you to show me?” I asked. I’m sure I sounded ungrateful. Cranky in fact. Did she even notice?
“Gotta get the feel of dry. Gotta get the feel of hot.”
“Well, we’ve got those alright.” The sun was beating down mercilessly, and I was regretting having come.
Auntie leaned forward, cupping my sweaty face in her hands. “When you gonna stop fighting dis?” She pinched my cheek gently. “Dis one feel good. Special kind of magic. Your old Grandmothers, they knew this magic too. Dat’s why I show you. Cos now all dem family of yours forgot.” Auntie chuckled heartily at this.
She pushed me gently, so that I fell back in the dust. Giggling, she lay down beside me. Then she put a hand over my heart. “Let dat anchor you, strong into the ground. Feel your body close with dis land. Feel it right in your heart. Feel dis place. Feel the power of country. Your country now too. ” When she took her hand away I could still feel a burning heat, different to the rays of the sun.
I tried. I lay there and tried. But I felt stupid and awkward. I was worried someone would see me, although I KNEW there was nobody who would see me.
Auntie clicked her tongue. “What happening in your head? Relax!” She smacked my arm gently. “Try.”
Slowly I calmed down. Eventually all I could feel and think about was the sun.
Auntie started laughing. “You got dat sun?” she said. “Got dat big ball of fire?”
“Bring him down inside you, right in your chest. Feel him spinning, all powerful. Feel him moving in your heart. Golden. Everything golden.”
That was easy.
I felt as if I was entranced. My limbs were so heavy I couldn’t move them. I’d lost the definition of my body. All I could feel was the earth and the sky, and the sun inside me.
Auntie spoke again, but now it felt as if we were both on a hill, looking down on that spinning sun.
“Let that spinning fella drag the whole sky into you. Keep feeling, and wait a bit. Let me know when you feel lil bit moisture.”
I had no idea what she was talking about.
And then I did.
I got the smell of rain. I got the taste of rain. Not a raging storm. Just a hint of wet. A lick of moisture on a hot breeze.
Inside me I could see the whole sky swirling, like a whirlpool in my chest. Every kind of weather; sun and hot and dry in the middle, but at the edges rain and wind and night sky. Beyond that stars and moons and planets and all kinds of mystery.
I didn’t feel strange. I felt the deepest calm, and an all-pervasive love.
“Go on now. Call dat rain in. Feel it in your body and make it bigger. Grow it real big til rain is all you have, rain is all you see.”
I knew Auntie was doing the same thing, calling in that rain. Her presence lent me a steadiness. With her beside me I was capable and strong.
I called that rain until my entire chest, my body, my mind was filled with the idea of rain. All I could feel was rain. I was rain.
And then I wasn’t. Just like that the feeling shifted, and was gone.
Disoriented I sat up and opened my eyes, expecting raindrops on my skin.
Instead, the sun beat down. I felt so betrayed. So stupid.
“Where is the rain?” I asked dumbly.
Auntie thought this was hilarious. “Girlie, you so impatient. Dat fella rain, he come far, far from here. He gonna take some time.”
I didn’t believe her.
We walked home in silence. Well, I was silent. Auntie laughed, and talked to the birds and the trees, grinning at me any time I looked her way. She was certainly having the last laugh.
Back at the homestead I excused myself and stood under a long cold shower for so long that my skin pruned and my feet became soft and spongy. By the time I emerged the truck had been repaired and Auntie and the others had gone home.
It was stiflingly hot, and the evening brought no reprieve.
About two in the morning I was woken by an unsecured French Door to the veranda banging in the breeze. A change had come through. You could smell the dampness in the air, and the promise of rain. A little over an hour later it bucketed down, and I fell back to sleep to the sound of rain on the tin roof.
When I woke at dawn the skies were clear and my world had been washed clean.
To be continued…