A Ruahine forest dripping with vibrant energy and force, glistening with Life as the filtering sunlight argues with the swirling cloud above, the forest floor simply sighing as the argument continues, the rich musty aroma of the earth intoxicates my senses. The light and moisture illuminate my path as if I were part of a painting. The pull gets stronger and I must return to this place. My pack and boots await. Soon.
For me, this very place is where a strong part of the soul of the Ruahine resides. This deep part of the forest which has tapped me gently upon the shoulder stronger each time until I finally stopped and Listened, and felt it inside, drank it all in with every part of my being. To implore me to let go of my humanness, and to rather just embrace being part of Everything. As close to any religion or of any God as I will ever get. I was just there with a cheap camera, an observer, yet part of, this incredible scene. The hand of Papatuanuku Herself is at work here. It is almost too much for the eye to take in and process without allowing our very selves to enter it as part of each tiny molecule. It is a place that now draws me closer each time I pass by and spend moments here. And in spite of the relative permanence of the forest itself, the mood and ambiance are forever fluid, much like the whole of this land called Aotearoa. In the Te Ika a Maui, Aotearoa ( the North Island of Aotearoa), the Ruahine was one of the first land masses to nudge her head above the safety of the sea. So the ancient, ethereal feel comes from those earliest moments. I feel like I belong to them.
(Kia ora and aroha to my wild kindred soul Robin Easton for suggesting I expand a mere observation into words about this Matariki huna nui that envelopes my being. She understands.)