Friday, November 5, 2010

A Brief Tale of Sons and Fathers

Two experienced Ruahine travelers.







This beautiful mountain waterfall and pool lies in the Ruahine around 1150 metres or so. As one approaches the golden tussock and open tops it is a lovely sight to come upon with a heavy pack and know some hard graft is done, take off the pack and rest and reward myself with the taste of pure mountain water. I have visited it many times now, coming and going, and have always loved this little spot. The water is most often ice cold, the tupare in front and glistening in the sun will tell you this place is relatively high up. Tupare only starts appearing when you have reached 900 metres plus. So this crystal clear, cold, pure water is born from the high slopes indeed. It has always called strongly to be dove into, but my burdens going up or down have never allowed me.



On a recent walk Charlie did just that. He stopped here and gazed upon this pool for the first time. He drank from it, felt the tingling coldness. Up higher on the tops, where we were for the afternoon and a nice lunch, he decided he wanted to swim in that pool. He has seen many photos of me "swimming" in ice cold Ruahine pools and this was his time to be introduced to exactly what that means. We were in no hurry, so we walked back down to that pool, 10 minutes or so, him barefoot wearing only a pair of shorts, which as obviously above he soon shed. His clenched little fists tells the whole story of the pucker one feels upon entering the bracing chill of the mountain water. He was weighing it all up. His mind working furiously no doubt, all quickly ending up at the inevitable realization that this water is far farking colder than he thought!

Yes, Charlie, the relative shelter of escape is near, just right behind you.


But in he goes! I am not sure who yelled louder. Charlie, screaming and frantically extracting himself, or me, out of being proud that Charlie understood this moment perfectly without me uttering a word, just being there. And also laughing my head off watching him actually dive in that freezing pool. We stood in the sun as he shivered and dried. I took off my own shirt to wipe him down a bit, but it is always best to let the mountain breeze dry off the moisture. You tingle, you are Alive!


I love the similarity between me, above, and Charlie in the third photo above. A different place to be sure, deeper in the Ruahine, but I am still singing the "Can I extract myself from this Ruahine Blues".


You never REALLY thought I would back away did you?

Aroha,
Robb


27 comments:

kylie said...

not for a moment!

Bob McKerrow said...

Dear Robb

An enjoyable, light-hearted tale, Thanks for sharing. Bob

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Such a lucky son, being introduced to the Ruahines by a father who has already discovered them so well....

lph said...

Robb,

I love my daughters dearly...love introducing them to special places and special moments in my life. Wouldn't trade the experiences I have had with them for anything else. And yet it is stories like this that make me just a bit envious of "sons and fathers."

A wonderful little yarn to lighten the day. I love it!

Larry

Marty Mars said...

Awesome Robb - thanks for the wonderful story.

Donald said...

Nice post Robb. Made me smile and reminisce... it those little moments that make being a parent so incredibly special.
Cheers

Donald

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Kylie,
Cheers for your belief in my mountain swimming pursuits!
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Cheers, glad you enjoyed. Have a great weekend my friend.
Rangimarie,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Kiwi Nomad,
It really is me who is the lucky one. It is like falling in love with why I love the mountains all over again. Through the eyes of a child.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Larry,
I am sure there are plenty of little girls who love wilderness and cold water as much as little boys. And there are a lot of times I wistfully wonder what having a little girl would be like, especially when I hold my delightful little neice Hazel Rose. That pool will still be there for her as well. Glad you enjoyed my friend. Have a great weekend. Go Badgers! Go Pack!
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marty,
Glad you enjoyed. It is truly a delightful place. Have a great weekend.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
I am really pleased folks are enjoying this little moment in the mountains. It is the little moments in such places that mean the most. I can recall the same introduction to cold mountain river for my older son Taylor as well, pretty much the same short discussion I had with Charlie. Hope your weekend is a fine one my friend. Kia kaha.
Cheers,
Robb

Marja said...

o how delightful what a wonderful memories you created. I experienced cold water once. We were setting out a track for the scouts in august
We had to do a couple of river crossings. The first one was fairly deep and when we were in there up to the middle we screamed out loud. It was freezing. We got kind of used to it after a few crossings and than came along a little waterfall which was turned into an ice statue
We had fun but we didn't let the boys walk the track though.

baruk said...

kia ora robb, nice post. though i am tempted to say i enjoyed *reading about it more than taking an actual dip! brrr. i get the shivers just looking at it lol.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marja,
In summer time I love staying along the river and walking along to find the beautiful pools to dive into - though at the best of times it is a bracing experience. In winter when we get really silly is when you hear the loudest screams. "Swimming" then means diving in and getting out very quickly, and rushing back to the hut where a fire is blazing. Hope all is well down there. Kia kaha.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora baruk,
I think maybe my gene pool might have a wee bit of polar bear in it!
Cheers,
Robb

Robin Easton said...

Oh you DEAR!!! This is truly being "Naked in Eden" LOLOL!!! I just don't know whether to laugh or cry, I am so touched by this whole post.

It is wild, open, free, "as-it-is-frank", unashamed, uninhibited, and I am applauding you!!! Just FILLLLLED with JOY!! This is absolutely fabulous!

Magnificent to see such freedom, and the two of you are SO alike. He will NEVER forget this. Ever. Nor will you dear Wild Brother. We may have to change his name to "Son of the Great Wild One". LOLOL!!! I just love it and both of you. So so beautiful! Some raw clean down to the bone (skin) reality. LOLOL!! :) And your captions are priceless.

Thank you dear Wild Brother for being this alive and encouraging Charlie to do likewise. Aroha in spades. You Wild Sister.

Pam said...

Have to agree. This post is an absolute joy - more so in that your hip operation was such a success. Good on you Robb!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Wild Sister,
You were in my thoughts as Charlie and I walked back down to the pool, him barefoot. It is not much more than a steep rough muddy rocky track, but Charlie has grown up mostly bare foot and it did not trouble him at all. You would have loved it, when he dove in and came flying out with his eyes bulging and us both screaming and laughing. As I wrote above the greatest gift Charlie has given me is allowing me to fall in love all over with something I already love so much through his eyes. How cool is that! Tihei mauri ora e hoa.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pam,
Hope all is well with you. I am happy you enjoyed this moment. It was indeed a fine one. The hip is holding up well. I am working on a Thanksgiving post, and that is what I am most Thankful for in this past year. Kia kaha e hoa!
Aroha,
Robb

troutbirder said...

A special son and father moment. Those are my best memories.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Ah, I am invigorated! And glad it was you two and not me in there!

What a wonderful thing for you and Charlie to share. I've immensely enjoyed your romp.

We have been to similar pools in the White Mountains and I know how cold they can be. And how pristine and beautiful. :)

I'm glad you are able to trek again without pain and make memories with your son.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora TB,
Thanks, I agree.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Lynda,
I must admit since being a little boy the allure of cold clear water has always had a strong pull upon me. Still does. I am glad to find Charlie shares that trait. Kia kaha my friend.
Aroha,
Robb

Tracey Axnick said...

Adorable post! (Does your son know his naked bottom has been viewed by women all over the world?) :)

Parenthood is the best, especially experiencing things for the first time, all over again, through the lens of your children.

Really enjoyed this post!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tracey,
Not quite sure if Charlie realizes that, and not quite sure I want to point it out to him!
Indeed - being in the mountains with Charlie really allows me to experience these moments all over again.
Aroha,
Robb

mary said...

Absolutely LOVE this! There's nothing like a good naked dip in cold water. :) Tells you you're alive, after all.