Song and dance on Tiwi

I am sitting as I write here on the Tiwi Islands at Wurrumiyanga.

I sit in the shade of tropical trees, coconut palms, mango and other trees.

Three young men play the guitar.


The local ladies are painted and ready to dance.

We wait for a group of visitors to arrive.

I look at my watch wondering how long it will be before they start dancing.


I think of the many things that I could be doing. Excuses come through my head so that I can explain why I need to go!


I decided to stay.


I am so glad that I did.


I am reminded that important as time is there are more important things…


I am sitting with the local Tiwi. They explain the stories behind the songs to me.

I am sitting with my people, my brothers and sisters. They know things that I do not know. They are happy to teach me and to share their culture and their stories. Old stories of a whale coming into the bay and the people catching it and eating it, stories of canoes…stories of the Japanese bombings on the Tiwi in the war etc., stories with dance and song…


I am reminded that staying with each other, being with each other, not just for tasks but to celebrate is so important!


I feel connection and belonging.


I feel more whole…


I remember the words of Pope Francis, something about the pastor needing to have the smell of the sheep…