My favorite time of day is without a doubt the pre-dawn hour. Observing a blackened sky that slowly rotates toward the sun gives me the feeling that I can watch the Earth move. And the colors of light in the pure atmosphere, refracting off lush mist, bring to mind Monet paintings, along with others who understood the power and beauty of the pastel. Unfortunately, my body finds the early morning repulsive and demands rest when the world is waking. However, give this lifeless corpse of mine an activity amidst natural wonder, and I become alive with the spirit of the dawn. My feet scrambled up the rocky paths to Kata Tjuta. The sun's first peek set the massive rocks on fire. This was my time of day, my type of setting, and my ideal way to spend my hours on this Earth: hiking among natural wonders.
A short geological explanation (the details of which I can't seem to recall, sadly) of why these 36 rock domes occur in the middle of a flat desert plain made me briefly contemplate the ground I stand on. How can the World be so old that over the course of its existence, all this land we see was underwater, slathered and molded by the tides, squeezed and pushed by other tectonic plates, and still continues to move and shift before our very eyes (ever-so slowly, of course)? We gotta stop complaining about being too old to stay up late or remember what we did yesterday. We're babies on this planet, babies I tell ya!
And so, as we wandered in between these massive monoliths, the breeze whistling through each hump and affirming the name Valley of the Winds, I gazed as the rising winter sun of the Australian Outback, looking through layers of atmosphere, mist, and space. Along with my extreme awareness of each [potentially] ankle-rolling step, I felt incredibly connected to the home planet. And with our sighting of a wild camel pack moments later, I felt even more like a primordial animal wandering for purpose and necessities across the crust.
The Outback: its trippy.