‘Learn to become a Custodian of Country’ – an Earth Wisdom Weekend

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Yiruk; Place of high regard

acknowledge and respect the elders and custodians of the land; past, present and emerging.

I thank the ancestors for the stories of this beautiful land.

Yiruk custodian of country

A few weekends ago, I attended a weekend immersion called “Learn to become a custodian of Country”. It was facilitated by Wayne Thorpe – traditional custodian of the Gunai nation which includes ‘Gippsland’ and Yiruk.

Together we were a group of 60, with many years between us with a lot of stories to share.

Yiruk is the traditional name of the area now called “Wilson’s Promontory”. Wayne explained to us that the name ‘Yiruk’ roughly translates to ‘Place of high regard’. I could not agree more with this name and assessment!

Yiruk custodian of country

It seems to me to be a land of creation. Of volcanoes and birth. Eruption and reformation.

(Video someone made of the weekend)
If this were any other event, I would not have gone. The forecast was for 2.5 days of rain and cloud. And 2.5 day of on and off rain was what we had! I have about 4 days ‘off’ this month, with many other things to do. But the importance of what would be covered created a level of commitment that was not otherwise feasible.

I’m so glad I committed myself to attending! Writing these notes a few days later, I feel light and extremely joyous. I had my heart cracked open to a wide degree. I feel so much more rested and connected to this land, especially following 2 nights sleeping on the ground in a tent, lit up by billions of stars. I had phenomenal dreams and have been since! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

 

Yiruk whale rock Gunai

On the second day, we danced the whale dance at Whale Rock. Later when walking along the headland, I perceived Whale Rock rock to shine out a rainbow emanating from it’s surface.

Whale Rock - Adam Oldmeadow Photography

(Adams ‘Artists Impression’ of Whale Rock)

 

As a few of us walked around the coast and along a headland, we travelled through deep tea tree forests that held a quiet safety I’ve never sensed before.

Tea Tree Forest - Wilsons Prom

The geology was so different to other areas I frequently visit. It had an air and presence of wild majesty, one that one has to experience first hand to really understand. I often felt that I was living in the land of ‘Avatar’.

 

Uncle Wayne told fascinating stories related to the local area. I learned so much from them on many levels. Following the weekend I spent many hours reading deeper into local Indigenous history and have been fascinated by how much I’ve been able to find. In time I’ll be writing more blogs about the things that I learn. We are blessed that there is such a wonderful and rich history on this land. Unfortunately a lot has been lost, ignored and intentionally destroyed. Thankfully there is an increasing awareness of the importance of respecting, preserving and enlivening the real history and wisdom of this country. It is sooo sad to hear the stories of loss and destruction of such an intelligent and alive culture that has thrived for potentially more than 120,000 years. In all the research that I’ve done, I feel that I’m barely beginning to get a slight sense of the ‘iceberg’ of wisdom connected to the land, plants, animals and people of this Earth.

At night I clearly saw for the first time in my life the Dark Emu in the Milky Way.

I took an image of the Milky Way between the rolling cloud forms. The Dark Emu was more visible a few hours later.

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My first and brief delve into #astrophotography down at #wilsonsprom – traditionally known as Yiruk – traditional land of #indigenous Gunai people I'll play around a bit more over winter. I'd love to show the Dark Emu in the Milky way

A post shared by Adam Oldmeadow (@momentsbyao) on

 

 

An amazing song rang in my ears on Sunday night after the weekend. I was unable to sleep until I watched it on YouTube. It is sung by ‘Nahko Bear’ who has Native American heritage and regularly visits this country to play music and ‘dance’ with the people.

 

One of the benefits from the weekend is that I have been a lot more connected to my dreams. I rarely am conscious of my dreams, however I have been most nights for the past 3 weeks following the weekend. That alone has been extremely interesting!

acknowledge and respect the elders and custodians of the land; past, present and emerging. I thank the ancestors for the stories of this beautiful land. I thank every living being for being part of my journey.

Thank you to Uncle Wayne and the custodians and ancestors of Yiruk for such an awesome weekend!!

Earth Wisdom organised this weekend. Follow them on FaceBook to hear about future events.

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