The cliffs at Bob’s Hollow are a landmark along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, visible as far north as Surfers Point. But the dramatic high cliffs are only a part of the story. The hollow hidden underneath is the vestige of a far earlier feature, the path of a stream long since buried by aeolian limestone. The spring at the base of the cliffs is fed by the same stream that made Calgardup Cave, a few kilometres inland. The spring used to flow all year, but due to declining rainfall and changing land management is now dry.
When the first people walked onto country thousands of years ago, the sea was far out to the west, and Bob’s Hollow would have looked out over a vast coastal plain. I haven’t heard the Wadandi story for this place, and even if I had, it wouldn’t be my story to tell. But the spirit of place has a face and a voice of it’s own.
Rushing by you might miss it.
Passing the small cliff to the north of the spring, you can see the face watching out from within the hollow in the rock. If you pause and listen you can hear the cliff catching the crash of the waves, rolling the sound to make a song of its own: stone giving voice to the endless music of the wind and the sea. A call to be present, for around the next corner is a sacred place deserving of special care and respect.
Once the closely guarded secret of fishermen and adventurous locals, Bob’s Hollow is now traversed by the Cape to Cape Track, it’s fragile dune limestone vulnerable to the tread of passing feet. Step lightly, and allow nature the space to sing its own songs. If we listen long enough, we might find a path back to our own souls by following the voices of wind, earth and sea.
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Copyright Jinni Wilson 2021