Thursday, 26 May 2016

From Scux To Majestical!

Just a few weeks ago, one of us turned 60.
In honour of such a grand event, we set off on a little celebratory road trip north, via right, just out of Napier. We had saved up from fruit selling & planned a good balance of: places we knew we'd like to go & others we'd never even set eyes on before.
There is a valley on the way to Gisborne, a place called Morere- meadows, a river, hot springs, a camping ground & cabins, all enveloped in a lowland rainforest reserve.
People have lived here a long time but never very many.  It's a precious place, you can just feel it. This was once the little school for the areas children, now re-homed & restored. 
The hot water is remarkable, sometimes called fossilised sea water as it has traveled thousands of years before bubbling it's way out of the ground beneath the rainforest. 
Not far after that to Gisborne (the first to see the sun)-so many lovely beaches, a river, op-shops
and walks.
It was fun to explore together.
Yet, it was constantly ever-so-slightly challenging being away from our everyday lives & home.
"Goodness, what's wrong with you dear? It was only for a few days!"
And that's just it..a few days away from the familiarity, provisions, accessibility & rhythms of our everyday lives refreshed our perspective & heightened our senses.
We talked a lot. We always chat away, we're best of friends.
We process our lives, grow, renew our thinking & know one another better with every conversation.
We're still wading through the detritus of the past, like swimming in the ocean & feeling the seaweed entangle your legs; unseen but disturbing- more times than we'd care to recall. But we're still getting in the water, squealing & splashing & swimming.  
This poem of Hollie Holden's captured it so well for me this week.

When you walk slowly enough
And with your eyes
Always alive to beauty
You cannot help but notice
The Bright Unstoppability
Of flowers 
Cracking their way
Through concrete
On walls and pavements 
And in between bricks.
I asked one this morning: 
How did you grow? 
She answered me
'Hardness and lack of welcome are no match 
For the power of the soft, sure determination 
Of one who knows 
Exactly who she is'
Hollie Holden
May 2016
That's exactly what we discovered on our journey-that we know exactly who we are.
We joined a theatre full of locals at the movies & went to see Hunt For The The Wilder People.
If the trailer makes you laugh, you'll love the movie. If you don't get it, then it may be a tad too Kiwi for you.

Ricky Baker isn't too thrilled with the hand that life has dealt him & he's got himself in to a bit of strife. At one point he tells "Uncle" very indignantly "I didn't chose this scux life, this scux life chose me!!!" 

There comes a point when Uncle & Ricky are standing looking down across a valley from high up on a bush clad mountain. "Majestical!" exclaims Uncle. 
"That's not even a word", Ricky corrects him.
Scux to Majestical sounds like a great life journey to me.
That's what I've signed up for.

Moving on from Gisborne, traveling through country-side we've never seen before, we came across a place called Gray's Bush. It is truly the most majestically sacred place I have ever encountered.
The bush is rare & precious & filled with puriri trees (most unusual in our native bush)
& the birdsong-a mesmerising heavenly chorus.
The flowers of the Puriri tree are vibrant & inviting.
The berries are beautiful too, no wonder the Wood Pigeons love them so.
From Gisborne we headed through the Waioeka Gorge & on to Whakatane.

They have a marvellous Hospice Shop in Whakatane!
I just caught this window dressing before it was removed.
This cute vintage basket was just right there in the window waiting for me.
Beautifully laid out & so many treasures to be found.
A little knitting graffiti was fun to find.
And how interesting to meet Pohutukawa covered sentinel, Pohaturoa Rock-just plonked right here in the centre of town.
Pohaturoa Rock is the local tribe’s (Ngati Awa) spiritual and physical ancestral connection to the area. The Ngati Awa have always performed ceremonies of birth, death, war and other important matters here. 
I loved this poem written by Clive Kingsley-Smith in 1983.
Challenging sentinal, solitary, steadfast
There at the crossroads he stands!
Silently waiting, eternally watching,
Timelessness held in his hands.
Grey, grey with the plumes of eternity,
Grey with the records of time,
Grey in his ancient, revered paternity,
Recorded in Maoriland rhyme!
Rugged by nature from time immemorial,
Unmoved by aeons of grace!
Red Pohutakawa, and creepers arboreal,
Screening the scars on his face!
Grey, grey with the seal of the centuries,
Grey with the score of their years,
Grey with the records of blatant humanity,
Their laughter, their groans and their tears.

Now a walk through-once a cave.
Homeward-bound we stopped in Rotorua to walk amongst the Redwoods.
Only this time it was up in the actually trees, looking down through to the forest floor.
A remarkable piece of engineering & design work the Redwood Tree Walk ,
An engaging experience indeed.
When you know just who you are, all kinds of things begin to flow better & to make sense.
I have continued to learn about the Five Elements. They just make so much sense to me.
So all encompassing. And very useful to help in understanding your constitutional leanings, emotional make up, relationship dynamics, health challenges, healing issues & occupational propensities.
I have huge respect for Jason Elias who writes:
"The Chinese believe that the Five Elements- Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth & Water govern the physical, emotional & spiritual existence of human beings, just as they regulate the cycles of growth & change in the external world.
Each of the Five Elements has a unique nature & spirit, and every human being has a constitutional affinity to one or more of them. 
For instance: the aggressive, forceful energy of Wood is most obvious in the season of spring, when the buds swell to bursting & the seeds sprout in to tender shoots that, against all odds, push their way through the earth in to vigorous life. 
If Wood is your predominant energy, you are like the green stem of spring,  you are driven by the need to stay in motion & to reach new heights, you are firmly grounded by a sense of self & home- the place where you fit & belong. Your roots are driven deep; your potential is unlimited"
Rob & I re-did the Five Element quiz from over here last week & I was fascinated to find that we are both predominately Woods..with some Water. A few years ago I got quite a different result which shows me just how far I have come in reclaiming my true self.
The Wood constitution very much fits the re-discovered "me"; the one who prefers to work alone & just-get-on-with-it & who loves to be fully occupied with all kinds of projects & doings. And yes, I am most certainly deeply grounded by a sense of self & home-the place where I fit & belong.
Of course there is even more commonsense to the whole Five Element thing in the teaching of balance in all things. When one element or season swings out of kilter or becomes unbalanced, then everything can get a bit messed up. Pay attention, balance things out & you restore or achieve harmony & regain your health & equilibrium.

 It's easy for me to stay in touch with this approach since I am constantly in tune with the seasons & the land & so quite naturally these things have become a part of my daily life conversation & observations.
 Harmony is a really useful state...even along the road-side there's a happy, unseen interaction going on that keeps everything in harmonious balance.
With-in the flow of the seasons there is a time for all things, every state of being.
Autumn is the time for rot & return! A time to let go-of all that no longer serves us & to have a jolly good clean up, just as the natural world does the same.
 Eventually the hard work of healing & growing & shedding the past moves the mountains of legacy, until at last, pausing to look across the valley, I can say with surety..."ah, isn't that a majestical sight!"
Much love, Catherine xxx
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