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.
Waitangi weekend. Ocean Mail Beach, Chatham Island.
"for whatever we loose (like a you or a me), it is always ourselves we find in the sea"
So this is home now.
We left Otautahi on Tuesday in the afternoon drizzle. Two hours later, one sleepy boy, two jaded parents, three bags packed to the brim, and an assortment of small-human paraphernalia arrived on Chatham Island to a warm sea breeze and a pair of smiling grandparents - and the realisation that after months of planning, packing, and waiting, we had made it. The rest of our worldly possessions (read: tools, books, and the all-important brewing gear) come in on the ship in a couple of weeks so we are settling in with what we have and getting to know our new home in the meantime.
We took our first whanau trip to Waitangi Wharf yesterday. I stood at the edge and thought of Lyttelton Harbour and the friends we've left behind. But there are adventures to be had and stories to be told outside of the familiar; this special place will provide us with both (and so much more I'm sure).
To new beginnings.