Recently, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the sacred sites of Uluru (Ayers Rock) located in the red desert in the center of Australia. The first thing that struck me were the vibrant colors of this immense landscape. The sand is a brilliant orange/red, the bush (small trees and bushes) seemed a light green in contrast, the blue sky was brilliant against this backdrop, and the colors of the sunset are stunning. Always present are the looming figures of the monolithic red sandstone mountains named Uluru and Kata Tjuta. These sacred monuments are humbling in their stature. Walking through the valleys of Kata Tjuta, I felt as if I were walking through the opening of the Earth, traveling through the birth canal of life. I felt small and insignificant in this ancient and revered landscape. This place is like a giant beating heart: hot, red, pulsing,draining, and dizzying. The trees that live here need fire to regenerate. It is a harsh and unforgiving environment, and yet the aboriginal people have survived here for tens of thousands of years. Only through community could people survive here. Here is what I wrote in my journal while I was there: I feel a heaviness, a deep part wanting recognition, acceptance, love. A deep part of me is not asking to be welcome, just saying I will no longer hide. I love my Mother Earth. She is huge, throbbing, hot, windy, juicy, and alive in all that she does. Her mystery is great and I cannot grasp her force, her power, her overwhelming presence. I am in the inferno of creation. I know nothing of who I am and where I belong. I am alone in this place of deep, dark power wondering if surrender is a good idea, yet having little choice. I return home with a transformed perspective of the Earth: she is an immense and powerful living being, and I am one of her children. She gives of herself every moment, so that I can survive. I love her, I am from her, I cannot own her. I will do all that I can to protect her as she has protected me.