4WD Touring Australia – June 2018

(Ben Green) #1

030 | 4WDTouringAustralia


here is less air between you and the
peaks, but more solar radiation up here.
It’s a different kind of atmosphere. This is
where clouds appear, rolling, on the windward

face of peaks, and disappear as quickly. At dusk
the sun burns through the last fingertips of distant
gums and the air temperature drops precipitously.
You roll down the windows and push on to camp.

Around the fire, the 4WD is ticking like
a clock, cooling down fast, and the smell
of wood smoke gets into your clothes, a
woodsy elixir, a kind of camping perfume.
If I’m alone, this is time spent looking into
the seeing stones of the flames, letting your
mind roll through nothingness. Good med-
icine, as best I can tell, for most that ails.

And with other souls this is story time,
the structural framework of memory and
friendship, the way we become closer and
where meaning is shared, where meaning
It’s hard to live in the high altitudes – but
there is something in man which has always
drawn him to the peaks, to the long view,

the rarified air, where men and gods can
converse on the same level.
This is what we do with the gift of free-
dom, the seekers and the travellers,
searching for something beyond the
horizon. Up here, the horizon grows wider.
Up here, we see the world from the seat of
the gods.
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