I was explaining the concept of going walkabout to a friend of mine recently. Well actually, I was explaining why my mother bought me some new shoes as a result of my going walkabout.
Aboriginal Australians take walks into the “Bush” for spiritual reasons. It is a key part of the culture.
The principle is simple; divest oneself of the trappings of civilisation and take a wander into the wilderness. This journey into “dreamtime” is not so familiar to our modern, mercantile, culture. It is interesting from a philosophical as well as a practical viewpoint, though I’m not going to lecture on the ideology, just raise the concept.
The reason it came up was that I took a trip recently into the wilds of Connemara, the Burren and Doorus, with similar intent; to reconnect with the more natural part of the country, after spending some years away. I wandered around my old stomping grounds, blindly feeling the crags and furrows in the face of an old friend, sensing how she had weathered the passing of time.
I would fall into the old sleeping bag at night happy-tired. It was not strenuous travel, but I had the usual seasonality and brisk changes of weather one expects, much as one falls into the rhythm of conversation with an old stalwart. I could go on about the experience, but it is more about a doing of it, rather than a talking of it, so will leave it as an idea, an opportunity to find space.
Go walkabout, you never know what you might find!