About Nature Connection

’Nature – our healer, our teacher, our life force,
our reason for being.     
 
Steve Parish

Finding purpose, enhancing life through photographic activities in nature, is my driving passion – a passion expressed in my masterclasses and talks and throughout this website.

Many people today do not see themselves as part of the natural world, reasoning that natural resources are political or commercial problems to solve. We have forgotten that the natural world provides us with the sun, air, water and soil essential to life – plus the personal life benefits of time spent in nature.

It is in this arena that I work to change attitudes, I am driven to spread the idea that through a fulfilling activity like photography, especially when conducted in nature, can be an excellent life-enhancing pathway. Time in nature may transport us out of our over-thinking and anxiety prone ‘heads’ into a joyful state of mind. 

Short-eared rock wallabies inhabit the stone country around Bill’s home.

A pivotal connection

‘My old people all dead.
We only few left, not many.
We getting too old…
Young people, I don’t know if they can hang on to this story.
But now you know this story.
Might be you can hang on to this story, this earth.’

Bill Neidjie, Gaagudju Elder Kakadu National Park

Bill Neidjie, known affectionately to many who connected with him personally as ‘Big Bill’, was an elder of the Gaagudju people in an area we now know as Kakadu National Park. Bill was a deep thinker, a man with incredible presence, a sensational, riveting storyteller. As a man with great wisdom, he was able to express his deep connection in words that he felt non-indigenous folk might understand.

In the late 70s, Bill and I stood side-by-side on a cliff-top overlooking his floodplain  and, with a wave of his hand, he invited me to ‘put ’em in a book. Show all ’em all what’s out there. Soon be gone, all hi-rise out there.’ This was a pivotal moment for me, I was 32 years old, and so I did ‘put ’em in a book’, with the same passion and feeling that this beautiful human being had for his land.

Here are a few of Bill’s words, and I invite you to follow the links below and explore his philosophy.

‘Listen carefully, careful
and this spirit e come in your feeling
And you will feel it…anyone that.
I feel it…my body same as you.
I telling you this because the land for us, never change round, never change.
Places for us, earth for us,
star, moon, tree, animal,
no-matter what sort of animal, bird or snake…
all that animal same like us.
Our friend that. ‘

Top: Bill at the Ubirr looking northeast across his country.
Below: East Aligator River, Bill’s country.

Further reading:
Bill Neidjie’s Story About Feeling: Notes on its Themes and Philosophy PHILIP MORRISSEY University of Melbourne.
Plus:  Old Man’s story: The last thoughts of a Kakadu Elder Bill Neidjie