Going to the ‘Naki clearly got me thinking about, well. Life. I realised how many important times I have had there and how many important people I’ve shared events with.
Many of them now ‘gone’ as they say. And all of them passionate people. There’s still one or two left, namely Fi with whom I stayed. When so many of us (er is that only me?) drift through life pondering what to do next, it’s a real wakener to see people who are driven.
I always seem to find it a very intense place to visit and to remember those I have been there with: James and Mina to name two. Both passionate and driven. Both dead. Krysia, (well technically only to Whanganui with her but she was part of the famous Owae hui, if only by telephone) when Barb and I bonded (two girls under siege sort of thing). Krysia, now dead. Time with Barb at Owae. The fabulous Auntie Marge. Meeting the wonderful Aila Taylor.
Then there have been visits to Frank in Rahotu, two famous hui in Whanganui (one funny and good and the other er not) with the kaitiaki, a trip with Grant into Ngati Maru territory to find his mother’s birthplace. Fabulous country up there – all green ponga and ngahere. A trip to the party that was Go Girl, Fi’s birthday, a fabulous visit with Hilary and walks and dancing at Paratutu. Hilary, of course now dead. A wonderful trip to Pungarahu, my last at the museum, and a stay at Parihaka. An eventful, but not much fun, stay at Dawson Falls with AGMANZ. Sans Mina alas. A fabulous trip with Max where we found his mother’s old house. My solo trips to Waitotara and the long beach walks. And many a splendid visit to Whanganui to see Sharon. I bet there are more I’ve forgotten.
Each one intense in its own way.
Then there’s the driving: high summer around the Surf Coast when it’s brown on one side and blue on the other, arriving into Mokau from the north and seeing the sea! Wild visits to Waitotara.
And of course the knowledge and memories of all that other history.
Must be the ‘Naki.
My oh my.