The earth out here is rust red. I am in the Pilbara. Vast flat plains are punctuated by hills comprised of angular slices of rock that share the hues of the soil. They look man made but nature is their only artisan. Termite mounds, some as tall as a human adult, dot the plains. Spinifex clumps rise from the ground, brought to life by recent and rare rainfall.

As surely as the hills rise from the earth, gorges cut through it, lined with sheer walls that connect the blue skIes above to streams and water holes at the base. Sunlight dances off the surface of the water.

It is silent, oh so silent. There is no cacophany of birdsong nor the sounds of human habitation. Just silence. It is not the eerie and foreboding silence that comes upon noisy places when danger looms, but a silence that welcomes the visitor, inviting her to stand breathless, moved and humbled by the vast beauty that meets the eyes.

Every now and then the silence is broken by the song of a solitary bird, a reminder that the landscape is rich with life, with creatures that are rarely seen or heard.

For most of the year all one can see is the rust red dirt and rock hewn hills, nature’s nod to post-apocalyptic artforms. But come the rain everything changes. Life triumphs.

This is a place where nature demands your attention, not only in the vast broad sweep but in the individual and particular. The solitary bird singing its solitary song cries to be discovered; the wattle bush, with its distinctive yellows and standing apart from its siblings demands to be admired; the single mountain that rises sharply from the vast flat plain commands awe and wonder. They are a reminder that the grandeur of the sum is  composed by the magnificence of the parts.

In this place I am bathed in beauty and grandeur. I am blessed to be here.

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