Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yowah Bluff at sunrise on Easter Sunday

Four km east of Yowah a bluff rises steeply (with vertical sides in many places) from the surrounding arid plain to a height of about 150 m. A large Telstra radio telephone tower (that provides Yowah with telephone and Internet access) is located at the highest point. This tower links 120 people -- who live in this remote outback town in Queensland, Australia -- to the rest of the world.

On Easter Sunday, over 60 adults and children (including visitors) met at the Yowah Bluff at 6 a.m.. to watch the sunrise and celebrate a time of renewal: no matter what their spiritual beliefs.

Before sunrise everyone gathered around a large blazing bonfire and Barb led the singing of "Amazing Grace". In the golden hush before dawn, this was a moving moment.

After sunrise breakfast followed, cooked on two barbecues. Eggs and bacon, toast, pancakes, jam, honey and cream were served, along with tea, coffee and cordial for the kids. With tables and chairs clustered around the bonfire and barbecues people ate, talked and laughed.

After breakfast, Barb and Scott led all the children (and not so small children) to an area where the Easter Bilby had hidden 80 or so tiny brightly coloured chocolate eggs in amongst the spinifex grasses, mulga and native shrubs. After much excited scrambling, smiles and squeals of delight, children emerged from the Australian bush bearing handfuls of tiny chocolate eggs covered in brightly coloured silver paper.

Because of a heart condition made worse by cold air, dawn at the Bluff was a second-hand experience for me. However, Doug's photos and recounting made it come alive in my mind, and so I pass it on to you -- my friends all over the world -- in the hope that this day, Easter Sunday, brings peace, tolerance of difference and a sense of renewal to all people: no matter what religious or spiritual beliefs you may or may not have.

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