It is related that one day they came upon Majnun sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, "What doest thou?" He said, "I seek for Layli." They cried, "Alas for thee! Layli is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!" He said, "I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her."
(Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 6)
Friday, 3 December 2010
The path we are going to tread on Saturday 11th December is the River Walk at Hollybank Forest "down to the junction of Butchers Creek and Pipers River" .
It is different to our normal outings as Hollybank is not a native forest being primarily European trees but, Layli was not born here either. Perhaps she retains a liking for the deciduous woods of the Northern Hemisphere.
Hollybank Forest also houses "Treetops Adventure" a series of flying fox like rides through the treetops, Reportedly, it fabulous but it costs $100 so it is not on our agenda. If anyone would like to combine it with our devotions get in touch and we'll arrange a meeting place and time.
The place has several picnic sites and the River Walk has its own car park but let's meet at the main car park (where the "Treetops Adventure" is) as its easy to find and has toilets etc. We can then find the best picnic spot at our leisure and proceed to the walk afterwards. So its 12 noon at the main car park.
Hollybank is about 20kms out of Launceston on the Lilydale roads and very clearly signposted on the right if heading towards Lilydale.
Hope to see you there - bring some food for the picnic and a willingness to share in or at least tolerate some devotional singing, praying, chanting or however you express your devotion to the Highest.
Danger might be an exaggeration - the walk to Lobster Falls is, after all, rated easy on most web sites. Still, for those seekers who are old, fat, and arthritic (that's me), it was a significant challenge. And the path, if you can call it a path, was narrow enough and, at one point, beside a steep enough drop to ensure that in addition to our usual devotions one of us who suffers from vertigo uttered perhaps the most heartfelt prayers to the Help in Peril that have ever been said on our trips.
But it was worth it. Lobster falls is no pristine wilderness but perhaps for that very reason it feels truly wild.
Very little effort is made to accommodate visitors or manage the flora and fauna. Fungi, of course, flourish with no special care.
And the usual beautiful chaos of the forest floor.
We did, most of us, finally reach the Falls.
On the way we encountered birds, flowers, and thanks to a sharp-eyed member an echidna virtually buried beneath the forest litter. But we didn't find Layli. Or maybe we did. When four of us settled down to say and sing some devotions, in unplanned and unspoken agreement, we said and sang them in whispers as though in that place we sensed a presence and didn't wish to disturb it with our bungling, human efforts to express the Divine. Maybe it was Layli or maybe just a local farmer. Or maybe there's no difference.