Remembering Earth’s Infinite Wisdom

Megan King Otter Trail

 

The wilderness is gathering all of its children back again – L. Cohen

 

For 5 days I walked among the life-giving trees in the virgin, evergreen forests and dramatic coastlines of Tsitsikamma National Park. I frolicked around the gushing network of waterfalls and rivers that have carved their way through ravines to form fresh water pools, and I celebrated with the fragrant fynbos, flora and fungi that sustain an intelligent network of harmonious life throughout this special stretch of land.

I know that words if not used well, can demystify what is experienced as sacred. Though I feel with even greater conviction that we cannot defend nature unless we love it, and we cannot love it if we don’t experience it. I had stepped into a mystical communion with the land; a land that is intact with pre-industrial visions that offer solace and safety to the sorely troubled minds of a disconnected culture.

I had come into nature to break. I had come to dissolve all the masks and insincerities we gather and collect for ourselves. I had come to shatter and shed. Within her deep and ancient colours that roll the universe together, I had come to be reminded.

It is my intention to express an awe for the single living organism that is our planet, our home where everything is so perfectly interconnected and every single creature, from the tiny microbes in the soil to the predators of the oceans and grasslands, relies on each other to function and thrive.

This body of work is a remembrance of love.

The Tsitsikamma landscape is hypnotic. I can feel it drawing me deeply into its fractal patterns and crevices that repeat themselves throughout the cosmos. I feel like I could continue to wander deeper and deeper into the earth with no thoughts of returning, as if it was the most natural, primal thing in the world.

In the midst, the otherworldly landscape is made up of blue and emerald hues and layers of alternating granite and quartz and form crystal-clear rock pools bursting with a fascinating ecosystem of micro-creatures. The straight cut lines of crystal that break the black granite reveal a cross-section of the earth’s geological history, and I imagine how the earth has been pushed and rolled together. I feel as though I have landed on some floating, gaseous planet; and I am the only person inhabiting this world. I am a faint figure in the midst. My identity, ego, past hurts and future hopes are all concealed.

I explore upstream from where a rushing river becomes a pristine black pool of water, forming a canyon in the distance that calls me towards it. I swim between the small opening and between two solid walls of rock. There are dragonflies and butterflies the size of my hand. Wading between the narrow walls of rock – with its luminous moss and lush ferns that catch the trickles of fresh water running off its edges Рis something prehistoric. All around me life is reacting, moving, evolving.

I slowly feel myself beginning to adapt and dissolve into my surroundings. I am being brought to my senses and the aches and pains that niggled at me when I first set off have begun to fade. I start to recognise this land as my home, and it is as if I am returning to it after a thousand lifetimes in exile.

I remember sitting with myself on a rock right near to where the waves were crashing. The water rushed over and between the rocks with such force and then would rush off again like a vacuum. In this movement I felt the age and earth.

There was nothing to judge, nothing to say what was good or bad or even beautiful, no concept of what is right and wrong, just an intuition that I was looking at the most truthful thing in the world.

Confronted with the force of the natural world reveals an ancient wisdom that has been accumulating over billions of years of evolving life. With this truth resonating all around me, I had the distinct feeling that I had reached a realm akin to paradise and a clarity that all the constructs of our modern lives, and the dramas we play out over a foundationless stage built by concrete and comfort, simply did not matter. I had all I needed. I had come home. I had connected with the real nature of my own being.

 

Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

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Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

Megan King Otter Trail

 

Megan King is a writer and photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. 
www.megan-anette-king.com
@megananetteking

2 Comments
  1. Unbelievably beautiful Meg. You inspire me to write again – you have manage to describe the indescribable, the feeling I took with me after the Whale Trail, and still carry with me 6 months later…
    x

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