I am blessed to be able to walk into the Billinudgel Nature Reserve which is close to my home. It soothes me and revitalises me. It took me a while to discover the track, or should I say tracks as I am discovering there are many tracks the more that I explore. I did not know how big it was, where it led, what tracks there were and I have allowed it to be a process of discovery, an unfolding. I began tentatively walking  a little way and then a little further each time. I would walk for a while and then begin to feel a bit anxious, like I had gone far enough into an unknown landscape and then turn back. The next time going deeper, further.

IMG_0258Gradually I have felt more comfortable and adventurous.  I did have a break from walking there during the summer months after nearly stepping on a snake, a very long python that gave me a fright!

As the temperature began to drop I got curious again. ‘I wonder where this leads to’, I ask myself, and am continually delighted with what I find, different vegetation and different light depending on the time of day that I walk, my curiosity leading me forward.  I continually wonder, ‘what’s around the next corner?’.

I reach choice points where the track splits into two or sometimes three. I stand there for a momIMG_0237ent, considering my options before choosing one. Sometimes it leads nowhere and I backtrack, sometimes it opens up to something much more than I was expecting. I am enjoying this exploration of the forest, the bird calls a constant delight. A few days ago a friend asked to come with me as she had never been in the reserve and wanted to explore it too. I became her tour guide.

We chose the right hand track and after walking for half an hour through a variety of terrain, gumtrees, ferns, swamp, then a beautiful coastal area filled with banksias and pines, with sandy soil as it got closer to the beach, we eventually reached a fork in the track. I had not ever taken the left hand track, so we chose to this day. Meandering up a windy hill away from the coast, more gum trees and a valley revealed to our right. Beautiful. Eventually we came to where the track met a dirt road that neither of us were familiar with, a lone house to our right tucked into the bushland. I felt curious, ‘where does that road lead to ?’. This day my friend called an end to our adventure. The sun was dropping and she felt it wise to turn around and retrace oIMG_0485ur steps, that exploration awaits us on another day.

I am keen to return, my curiosity piqued. A curiosity that keeps leading me forward in my life, that likes delving into the great unknown and going up unsignposted tracks and roads. I have enjoyed doing that from an early age, from teenage adventures with my best girlfriend, exploring locally on all day walks, to weekend drives with my first boyfriend exploring new places, to travels overseas heading off not knowing where I would end up, to packing up my life and heading off in my car to find a new town to live, destination unknown.

Sometimes I can be a cautious, tentative person and in other ways I see that I am an adventurer. I have both these qualities inside me. Maybe I am not as adventurous as some, but adventurous in  my own way, always ready to listen to those inner stirrings that call me to discover, ‘where does this road lead to?’.



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