This morning I woke to the sound of the sea roaring. Against the enormity of the sound my house and even my whole life felt too small. I had to get out and see what all the noise was about. I drove across town to Thunder Point. Once there I decided to go for a walk despite the approaching storm.
The sign to the right of this photo reads “Beware – High Undercut Cliffs”. Other signs in the area advise you to stick to the path. I did so for the first part of my walk even though it is simply a gravel track cut through the coastal scrub.
In this photo the route it takes shows as up as a dark line. The scrub is well over head height so when you are on the path you can’t see the sea.
There are occasional lookouts that open out to the wider view. Up at the first one I had a good view of the rain shrouded town behind me –
and the carpark where I’d left my car –
Despite the wild weather I wasn’t ready to head back. Neither did I want to be restricted by the limitations of the path. There are old tracks across these cliff tops that can be accessed by gaps in the fences. I slipped through one and picked way down down an incline to the flat rocky cliff tops.
I often take this way but always stay well back from the edge. Others are not so timid. This morning I came across two girls who obviously weren’t deterred by warning signs.
The weather up ahead was looking wild but I continued on until I felt the first sprinkles of rain –
The sea churned at the base of the cliffs. Even though I didn’t walk to the very edge of the cliffs I could feel the elemental power of nature in the wild roaring seas and cold blasts of wind hurtling in off the Southern Ocean. Standing vertical against the immensity of sea and sky I felt small and insignificant but it was a different from the feeling of smallness I’d had in my house. There I had felt cut off and isolated. Out in the storm I felt somehow part of something vast – something wild and free that could never be fully contained.
All the same the idea getting drenched by the approaching rain was enough to make me head back to the path.
Hurrying back I heard loud screaming howls. For a moment I thought the girls had plunged to their death but the sound was followed by bursts of wild laughter. Howling into the wind seemed like the perfect response to the experience of the moment.
Back at the carpark I saw a guy standing right on the edge of the cliffs. He appeared to be weeping. I guess that’s the alternative approach to life at this time of history as the storms of change lash our world. Either you weep in despair or you howl in defiance.