John Wallis Bushwalk
Mount Wellington, or, to give it its ancient name, Kunanyi, was host to the first John Wallis Bushwalk, a community and fundraising event organised by the John Wallis Foundation. Some 50 people divided into two groups, one led by Stuart Witney for an easy ramble, the other, led by Tom Burke, set out on something a little more challenging. Tom and Stuart know the mountain well. Each pointed out his group many points of interest of the life of the mountain, and told stories of events and colourful characters who lived on the Mountain over the years.
The walks began and finished at The Springs. The Hobart John Wallis Foundation Regional Group, organised the event and provided a barbecue lunch for the returning walkers. Bernadette Wallis mss, observing the happy faces of participants on their return from the walks, was reminded of the stories of the Transfiguration as told in the Gospels. She offers the following reflection:
Kunanyi, not MtTabor; no “Peter, James and John” nor “Jesus”, but there was something of their spirit. Two leaders, Tom Burke and Stuart Witney, each led a group of people up the mountain. Just as Jesus had done so often with his disciples, Tom and Stuart told stories of life on this great mountain, about its history and geology. The people listened and were entranced by what they heard. Cloud came down as mist and moved among them. They were captured by the experience of the bush as they followed the trail.
The “disciples” on Kunanyi/Mt Wellington returned to base. A barbecue awaited them. As they approached the table for welcome nourishment, I was struck by their beaming faces. A joy and serenity pervaded the groups. It reminded me of the transfiguration story in the gospels, and the transformation of the disciples who shared that experience. Our walkers may not have named the Something deeper that touched them on the mountain. Yet I sensed in them something of the Presence they had encountered there, something intangible yet strong, gentle yet penetrating: a touch of God in the sacred ordinary....?