Treasure hunting at Owenga Beach, Rēkohu (Chatham Island)
I take my Aunty to see the shipwrecks at Port Hutt
When we close the truck doors, small birds fly away from the top of a caravan without wheels
There’s three of them, I say as we drive down towards the coast
One lies next to the wharf; its flaking pale blue exterior betrays the rot.
The other, further down the beach, is a meeting spot for birds.
The third adorns the tired shore across the bay.
Look, hon, she says, after some time sweeping her hands across the detritus.
She is turning a piece of paua shell in her fingers.
A bird flies over our heads.
You could never replicate those colours, she is saying, never reproduce them in any kind of art form.
But all I can see is how much her hands look like mine.
Nga mihi tino nui, Lois and whanau. This place is something special.
In which we walk the shores of this little island.
Tired. Grateful. Nourished. Hopeful.
Haere ra, 2016.
"The glitter of sunlight on roughened water, the glory of the stars, the innocence of morning, the smell of the sea in harbors, the feathery blur and smoky buddings of young boughs, and something there that comes and goes and never can be captured, the thorn of spring the sharp and tongueless cry - these things will always be the same."
Thomas Wolfe - "You Can't Go Home Again"