THE WAVES OF MT. SONDER
[An extract from Trekking with the T-Team : Central Australian Safari 1981]
In the dim blue light of pre-dawn, Dad and I tramped up the slope to catch the first rays of sun on Mt. Sonder. When we reached the crest of the hill, the peaks of the mountain flushed in delicate pink hues. The sky behind Sonder was pastel blue softened by a salmon haze just above the mountain.
After snapping a few shots, Dad packed his camera into his brown bag. ‘The colour won’t be as good as it is in summer.’
I lingered, staring at the delicate pink mountain. I knew the sun had not risen and that the best colour on the rocks occurs as the sun peeps over the horizon. ‘Just a few more minutes, Dad. Please!’
‘Very well, then. But I think you’re wasting your time. We’ve seen the best of it.’
‘But it’s just so beautiful!’ I sighed and watched in the stillness of the dawn; not a puff of wind or any chirps from birds disturbed the moment. Dad even held his tongue and absorbed the panoramic feast had set before us. A bold pink appeared on Mt. Sonder, and crept down its vertical cliffs and flowed onto its slopes as the sun emerged over the horizon.
Dad pulled out his camera and then attached his telescopic lens. ‘Oh, I’m glad we waited. Didn’t I say it would get better?’ He aimed the lens at the deepening crimson and click, click, click.
‘Well, actually—’ I intended to remind Dad the waiting was my idea.
‘Never mind.’ I decided not to ruin the moment by quibbling. I sighed and snapped a couple of shots. Through my instamatic camera’s view-finder, Sonder seemed just a jagged blip on the horizon. Dad’s SLR Konica produced superior photos. ‘Can you take a photo of me with my camera?’
As the colour began to fade, Dad photographed me to the side of a distant Mt. Sonder. We descended the hill and Mt Sonder retreated behind the hills in front of us.
Extract from Tracking with the T-Team 1981 © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016
Painting: “The Waves of Mt. Sonder” © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2010 (acrylic on canvas)
Last days of the SALA Festival. See The Waves of Mt. Sonder and more paintings by Lee-Anne Marie Kling and four other emerging artists from Marion Art Group. Exhibition until Saturday August 27 2016 at The Corner Uniting Church, corner of Diagonal and Oaklands Roads, Warradale.