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For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. Ephesians 5:8

I’m a pretty intentional person. I generally know what I’m doing, where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. But for a long time I didn’t leave enough space in my life for spontaneity. I missed out on things because I scheduled life so tightly – also a challenge for someone who likes to say “yes” to everything. Moving to Queensland has been great for creating space. I don’t have that many friends here so there are less social engagements and I also have fewer weekly commitments.

Further, moving to Queensland has opened up a new patch of Australia to explore. And I’ve been waiting months for the weather to cool down enough to start hiking the hinterland areas. Yesterday morning I looked at the forecast and saw it was going to be sunny for the next 2 days. And coming off a 3 day work trip I had intentionally not made plans on Friday night to recover from the tiredness. (I know, who have I become?!) So a few quick texts to my friends and we made plans to hike to Mt Warning or Wollumbin just over the border in NSW on Saturday morning.

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Wollumbin meaning patriarch of mountains, or later named Mount Warning by Lieutenant Cook on his first sail past in May 1770, is an 1157m ancient volcanic plug. It’s also the first place on the Australian mainland to be touched by sunlight, a popular sunrise hike.

And to do it properly, we set out from Brisbane at 2am (!) arriving at 4am (!) to start the 4.5km, +650m gain climb to the top for first light and sunrise. It’s been years since I’ve done a hike by torchlight and it was fun to charge up the mountain only ever seeing 2 steps ahead.

We overtook a number of people and made it to the top in 1hr30m only to be greeted by 2.5 degree temps and 30km/hr gusts. It was the Catch 22 of the clear sky and close to full moon. And there we stood for an hour waiting for sunrise on a platform wedged at the top of the mountain.

And slowly the light appeared, the distant lights of Surfers Paradise, Tweed Heads and down to Cabarita fading as the largest light crept up and poked its head over the Pacific Ocean horizon. And suddenly the faces of those around us were clear and vastness of our surroundings made known. 

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Unfortunately there were 50 or so others, many much taller than me, so although I wasn’t the first to see sunrise… (#dadjoke) it was pretty amazing to take in the 360 views. And within an hour or so after sunrise, the visibility became more than 100km with the Brisbane CBD visible in the distance.

And then finally the wind and cold became unbearable to we headed back, to discover all that we’d passed in the darkness.

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