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A journey of listening

We’re on a journey in which we have committed to listening. To country, to others, to self, to ancestors, to silence. And in that listening to Other, I’m learning so much about Rachael – my wife/partner/travel companion/wild-wanderer.

Like, she loves laundry. She’s truly wild and loves all-things nature. But, wow, does she love laundry. I’ve discovered she’s often planned laundry stops weeks in advance. Which caravan park, a particular town – she’s accumulated dollar coins for the laundromats. It’s all sorted. I’m grateful.

I’ve also learned that she’s right into towel types. I call it a towel typology. Towels for showering, towels for the beach, towels for waterholes. I’m always getting it wrong, wandering off with the wrong towel. She’s graceful, but I’m also having to learn. Then the other day, when rummaging in the trailer I found a bag with some clean untouched towels. Apparently, it seems, we’re going to circumnavigate half of Australia without these towels getting dirty. Clean towel backup. I smile.

Like I said, I’m listening and, learning. Loving her more and more.

And it’s day 61+ and we’ve still not had a fight. It’s the half-way point of our four-month journey. Someone wise told us before leaving, whatever happens don’t fight in a car. Too close; not able to see one another in the eyes. We’ve managed to live that wisdom and more. No fighting in the car, no fighting anywhere.

But we’re also learning that dance of together and separate. When something starts to spark with a conflict energy that’s not easily resolved, or is gradually escalating and we’re no longer capable of really listening – then it’s time to move apart for at least 20 minutes. There’s an urge to push on, state positions, persuade. But we know it's time to step away, gracefully – saying clearly, ‘I need some space to reflect’. For Rachael to do yoga or walk; for me to read, write, reflect. Then we find ourselves able to come back together and listen to one another. Listening is the key.

Listening is the key to love.

A trip about listening really. To country, to soul, to self, to one another.

And now we’re at Alice Springs – the central desert region. I am listening to this desert country.

Listening appears to be enfolded with loving. To listen to self is to love the Self. To listen to the body is to love the body, which reveals its necessities. To listen to Rachael is to love her more. To listen to country ensures it reveals itself – gradually – for what will reveal itself if not listened to?

Here's to a journey of deeper listening,


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