Although physically demanding in the extreme, trekking Kokoda is in essence more a spiritual journey than a physical challenge.
There are many dimensions to this spiritual journey. One dimension has to do with how we relate to the people who live in the villages along the Kokoda Track – the descendants of the legendary “fuzzy wuzzy angels” who stood in solidarity with the Australian diggers in 1942.
The spiritual dimension of this relationship forged in 1942 is perhaps best conveyed in this poem by Bert Beros:
Many a mother in Australia, when her busy day is done
Sends a prayer to the almighty, for the keeping of her son
Asking that an angel guide him and bring him safely back
Now we see those prayers are answered on the Owen Stanley track.
Tho’ they haven’t any halos only holes slashed in their ears
And their faces marked with tattoos and with scratch pins in their hair
Bringing back the badly wounded just as steady as a hearse
Using leaves to keep the rain off and as gentle as a nurse.
Slow and steady in bad places on the awful mountain track
And the look upon their faces makes us think that Christ was black.