Today I decided to go for something simple and that is remembering the feeling of setting foot on Wollumbin, the Aboriginal term for Mt Warning, a big mountain on the coast of far north New South Wales, Australia.
As you drive up the coast from New South Wales or down the coast from Brisbane, you can’t miss Wollumbin because it is so large and so distinctive. We visited it with a friend and found the ancient rainforest absolutely fascinating. When you step onto the soil of Wollumbin you can feel the warmth and welcome, plus the sense of great age. Many people climb to the top of Wollumbin to see the sun rise in the east as it’s the first place in Australia you can see the sunrise. However, the mountain is sacred to the Bundjalung Aboriginal mob in that area and they ask you not to climb it. I always think it’s a shame that so many Western people ignore this request as they’d get plenty upset if people started climbing up Westminster Abbey or abseiling down from its roof. Wollumbin is the equivalent of a cathedral to Aboriginal people because it’s the land that’s important, not what’s built on it in concrete terms like houses, office blocks, etc.
Anyway, I decided to simply work with the photo I took of rainforest to try to recreate the feeling of ancientness as well as the feeling of the presence of so many spirit beings. I also wanted to create some sense of the warmth and friendliness of this mountain – quite different to Mt Lindesay further inland which sort of crouches there with an invisible “keep off” sign. I’ve also included water images to represent the enormous forces that pushed this lovely mountain up to its present position, way above the Pacific Ocean. And finally I wanted to give some sense of the sacred nature of Wollumbin and its songlines which spread far and wide to light the path for spirit seekers.
Here’s the result, Spirit of Wollumbin.