More reflective writing At Last- by Annie

One of the most remarkable things about the Hikoi has been the absolutely natural way that it has uprooted my lifelong pattern around trying to stay invisible: when passion for the truth of something in the face of so much illusion-spinning is strong enough then it overcomes the fear of speaking out…
I wanted to invite Geoff Chapple (The main visionary and driving force behind the Te Araroa trail) to one of the Auckland events by way of honouring his great inspiration for me to do the Hikoi (and also give thanks for the very practical aspect of having a trail to walk on!!). …turns out Geoff is down in Christchurch as “writer in residence” and his wife Miriam was heading down to see him the very next day, carrying my messages of gratitude with her.

I attempted to contact several MPs while Auckland, with only one, National MP Jacqui Blue responding within the timeframe of my Auckland visit. She was extremely supportive and practically helpful in advice regarding the petition and offered to approach the chair of the Health Select Committee, Paul Hutchison, if he would be willing to present the petition to Parliament. She got back to me within 24 hrs, with Paul having agreed to do so.

Several conversations/observations in Auckland brought the theme alive for me of how much harm we do our own life-force by wanting something from others (even if it is reasonable!!). While we allow ourselves to wait in a sort of resentful limbo for another to change, (probably quite literally holding our breath!!) our own spirit is subtly cramped and damaged, and the sort of communication that may well be necessary for change and growth to arise is very unlikely to occur.
The image arose of being a fierce warrior in not allowing our inner dialogue to undermine our courage and wholeness, but remaining very soft in how we meet another human being, anyone!! Maybe especially our loved ones, where we often have allowed hard edges to grow without realizing…
I was recently sent this Rumi poem…

And still after all this time the Sun has never said to the Earth
“You owe me”
Look what happens with love like that
It lights up the Sky

I’m not recommending this as a rigid ideal to try and live up to, but as a soft contemplation….

Quite near the old Mangere bridge (where walkers like me pass locals fishing contentedly), suburbia comes right down to the tidal estuary (Yes, it’s me and my tidal estuaries again…), there is a grassy park where thousands of oystercatchers wait out the high tide. Was a tantalizing sight of wild life meeting the tidy modern world in such an unusual juxtaposition…
One of my day walks in Auckland involved walking through the Otahuhu stonefields. It turned out to be a gift of a day amongst the great intensities of Auckland, to simply be on my own in what transpired to feel a very poignant and contemplative place. It was where Maori made use of the warmth of the stones to lengthen the growing season, and then the settlers in their turn grew their Barberry hedges (providing Vitamin C and sharp refreshment to this briefly passing person in 2013); built dry stone walls; where long ago planted, massive Port Jackson figs still cast large shadows and provide shelter from the wind for a weary walker. Such a feeling of history, abandonment, and unexpected almost remote quietness, a few stones throw away from the frenzied activity of airport and modern life…

In the Hunuas, I was given the gift of many feathers…I have always found feathers to be a reminder of the utter miracle of life, perfectly created for the unique purpose of each particular function of each particular body or wing-part of each particular bird, and such exquisite beauty of form. They also seem to always convey the message to me of the need to take myself lightly….
I found myself saying to a few folk lately, who wonder how I cope with the degree of uncertainty of the Hikoi, that even though the ego hates uncertainty, the spirit loves it…

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