The indigenous people tell of sacred sites. Of places connecting them to country. Of places where learning and ancestors, reverence and nature all intertwine, intermingle, weld.
This is Kianinny. This is my sacred site.
Kianinny where, years before I was born, my father painted a white triangle on a sentinel rock to guide sea-farers to the refuge of the bay.
Kianinny where my father led the Point Counsel as they solved the problems of the world, and waited for the sea to allow them safe passage – for play and for work.
Kianinny from where my father embarked on fishing trips, riding the swells of the continental shelf until his friends burlied over the side. Where he pitted himself against sharks and was awed by the marlins. Where the humpbacks “stank” and schools of dolphins danced.
Kianinny from where my father embarked to work, to gather abalone, feed eels, banter with wobbegongs. See his mate die.
Kianinny where he taught me to snorkel. To amaze at gorgonian corals, brilliant fish. To startle at a sting ray.
Kianinny where he taught me to dive. My first descent onto a nest of Port Jackson sharks.
Kianinny where I deckied for my father during school holidays; and he abandoned me on a rock when I was sea-sick.
Kianinny where Brian began his career as an abalone diver.
Kianinny of blue bottles, training dive students, launching boats, of ocean swims and nudibranchs, of summer fish and chips and freezing winter dips, of tall stories told; of childhood and adolescence, of romance and marriage, of remembering.
Kianinny where we held my father’s memorial service. As a sea eagle arched above us.
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.