(photograph Margaret Hepworth copyright 2012)
Mungo was calling me long before we made the trek out to the ancient lunar potted landscape. I had first sighted pictures of Lake Mungo in a magazine. Did it grace the front cover of The Good Weekend? Or had it been The Australian Way, the Qantas In-flight Magazine, on my way back from Hawaii? Wherever I had seen it I had taken one glance at the pink sand, the turreted dunes and the bluer than blue sky and thought, Magic! One day I will go there.
There was no longer a lake at Lake Mungo. Thousands of years ago extensive periods of cold, dry and windy weather had dried up the freshwater inland lake, a supplier of life to thousands of local indigenous people, let alone the wallabies, wombats, kangaroos and fish which had abounded aplenty in and on the shores of Mungo.
Now Mungo had a new appeal. To the geologists this was the site of one of the most recent reversals in the earth’s magnetic field, a polar turn-around. To the anthropologists Mungo had unlocked the secrets of an ancient past. Ritual tribal burials and cremations, ancient windswept footprints, middens revealing untold anthropological delights, evidence of the longest continuous human society on earth. And to visitors, if you listened carefully, and stayed awhile, if you were prepared to wander amongst the dunes and lay bare your soul to the rugged earthiness, Mungo held secrets and vibrations that traversed your body and replenished your spirit.
Thankfully, at some point, an unusually discerning and visionary government department had been prudent enough to listen and understand the importance of Mungo and had it nominated and subsequently declared as a World Heritage site, a fact of which very few Australians seemed to be aware.
And now for me, as a one-month-early thirtieth birthday present, my dream was coming to fruition.
(Excerpt: Clarity in Time, Margaret Hepworth. Balboa Press 2012)
Mungo does indeed hold secrets and deep vibrational energies. To discover them, you simply need to stay a while. Hide in amongst the gol-gol dunes, wander freely, examine gently the bones of animals laid to rest thousands of years ago, stop and listen. Like all things mysterious and wonderful, you will feel it if you open yourself up to it.
In Clarity in Time, Margaret Hepworth's revealing novel, Rosie O'Dea and her partner Will do just that. Guided initially by Aboriginal Park Ranger, Mirabee, and later by their own senses, they become aware of something else happening around them. Something that fills them with awe. When the reader is transported 30, 000 years earlier, to a lake brimming with life they become privy to a time when an Aboriginal elder reveals secrets of the universe into the palm of a six year old girl.
Lake Mungo, a World Heritage area, can be found under the emu constellation of the aboriginal people. (NSW parks - 760 km due west of Sydney and 90 km north-east of Mildura)
Clarity in Time can be found on amazon.com or ordered through a bookshop near you.