The Current River and Dadirri

It was so very dark, and a mist drifted across the river as I searched with tiny senses for the edge. My green boots touched rock and I waited for that splash of water.

It was so dark I couldn’t see my Lover on the bank, or the light of the volunteer Campground host, even his fire was absent as my boot touched the wetness of a river bank.

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This was the Current River in the Mark Twain National forest, with the spring feed water, a natural sparking wonder during the day, with clear views, soaring cliffs and sycamore/oak lined forests on both sides. At night… it was a mysterious and powerful dark space of wonder.

The jetty went out almost to the center, which is why the kayaks and tourists launch from here. 10 miles downstream to Round Spring, past the Ancient Summer camps, Boy Scout locations and Karst Cave systems.

As you camp along it’s edges, the night sounds are robust and amusing, as crows “caw”, frogs “croak”, and insects mate like it’s the end of the world. The chaos is stilling as the river itself is the white noise behind the Sounds of Water.

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Dadirri recognises the deep spring that is inside us. We call on it and it calls to us. This is the gift that Australia is thirsting for. It is something like what you call “contemplation”. Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr

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Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr is a fascinating woman, teacher, activist, philosopher and Australia celebrity. It is from her that we get this idea called Dadirri. Her people are River folk with river wisdom. In 1988, she presented this philosophy to the world at a conference.

The River is an important part of the concept, and the deep spring within us. The water part of us…you could say. It is stillness and mediation, but also contemplation from within the flow of life.

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There I was in the dark, after a long day on the river, exploring caves and following the flow. The rituals had been done, one by one, the nature based baptism, the low meditative humming during a pitch black moment… deep in a cave, and fire building. Now as the stars arrived…along the river a fog settled with an eerie silence but still I walked out on the rock jetty to stand in the middle of the river and have my sacred moment of clarity.

The peace that settles over me is instantaneous, and yet the adrenaline of the darkness is intense. The only noise is the river, as the bank animals are drowned by that which gives them life. My fingers linger drifting over the cold wetness of these spring fed waters and I breathe in the wonder.

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Dadirri means inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. It is a ‘tuning in’ experience with the specific aim to come to a deeper understanding of the beauty of nature. Dadirri recognizes the inner spirit that calls us to reflection and contemplation of the wonders of all God’s creation.

After my moment of peace and stillness, I walk over to my Lover on the bank, staring at stars on a blanket and together we listen to the sounds of natural beauty…stare at the stars in awe…and raise our awareness, that while the Current River is a beautiful place…it’s glory is just a reflection of our global Mother.

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