Friday, November 9, 2012

Ehara i te mea he aha... (No particular reason)

1 November, 2012. Sunrise hut - evening. Robb solo.
It has been well over 6 months since I have breathed deeply of the fresh mountain air. Our recent trip home to the states causing my normal winter birthday journey to be cancelled. There is always a certain amount of trepidation I feel when returning to the mountains after such lengthy absences, particularly when hefting a large 5 day pack upon my back. Trying to keep relatively fit by gym work and weights has very little bearing upon putting such a load on my shoulders and climbing up a mountain, even a well graded track like Sunrise. You find out pretty quickly how fit you are indeed. I am here and I will leave at that.

Along with the physical fitness is the mental fitness. Having all your ducks in a row as it were. When I arrived at the Sunrise entry point, I was stunned to find 13 cars and large van at the road end. By my calculations a possible 50 people might be up at Sunrise! That did not bode well with my desire for solitude. I stopped at the Ruahine boundary as I always do. I said a little karakia, took out my pounamu (greenstone) and kissed it's warmth gently and asked the Ruahine to watch over me. Then I trudged up here. Arriving I expected to hear laughter and screams of kids, people on the porch, and possibly a full hut. Instead I found not a soul, completely empty! And in the hut book no one has proceeded over the saddle into the valley, bar one hunter, for over a week. The others must be far below camped by the Triplex hut not far from the car park. No matter. I am here alone in candle lit confines of the hut. The peaks and valley outside waiting for me to roam. The Ruahine has already given me a gift of Haere mai (Welcome).

Sunset over the backyard at Sunrise. After 6 months like meeting up with an old friend.

This is Sunrise hut, shown in the protected grove of tawhairauriki and tupare which shelter it from the prevalent northwest wind which blows through the funnel like valley. The exposed route to the saddle in the distance can quite often be uncrossable, and I have fought many a windy battle here and beyond. I like to think the windy conditions as a protective barrier to the solitude available beyond here.

Sunrise at Sunrise. Always a thoughtful and enjoyable way to start the day. And with a sky such as this and little wind I find myself in a hurry to gulp down strong coffee and get going.

Overlooking Maropea valley with the Rim of Fire in the distance.

Tupare (leatherwood) leaves in the morning sunshine. A tough hearty high mountain survivor. Yet still possess an elegant beauty. Nice qualities.

A bend in the mountain river - the Maropea.

Water coloured only by her stones.

A pair of young Whio. My heart always jumps when meeting these wild mountain indigenous birds.

My favourite wood stove in the Ruahine. The Corker Cooker at Maropea Forks. Ridiculously easy to light, providing your wood is sized correctly, and will warm the hut up just quietly or blazing hot as one might desire. I have enjoyed many a fire and meal through it's warmth. I also spent the loneliest night of my entire life in it's company.

2-11-12 Maropea Forks early evening: What a cool day! From being up high in the golden sunlit tussock during the quiet and still morning hours, when the light has a more fresh and possibility filled appeal to it than equally beautiful but slightly more tired light of evening. To being on the sun gorged mountain river and gentle flow, at least on this day. To be accompanied by the whio and arrive here tired but smiling at the empty hut, (not a soul has been here in over a month, and only 8 parties in the 6 months since my last visit), I am very content. The billy boils and hot cup of tea awaits.
I took a bad fall at the start of the extremely steep bit from the forest below Top Maropea to where it then drops into the creek which leads down to the river. It is very steep, near vertical in places, and at the very start as I reminded myself to be careful, that this could be the very crux of my day, I slipped. What kept me from falling 15 - 20 metres straight down was an old tawhairauriki stump which I landed in a straddling position directly upon, taking most of the blow with my left buttock and thigh. I suspect I will have quite a bruise come up, but for once having a large fat ass came in handy. A lot of peeps who love me worry about my being here solo. And I love that I even have peeps who love me enough to worry about that. Yet, had I been here with John, Nigel, Gustav, or anyone else, I still would have fallen, still could have been injured or even killed. Instead I had to sit there with myself, and figure out how to extract myself from a fairly precarious position. Risk and reward? I am willing to absorb that risk to be in such a place. To be truly wild you have to be in the wild.
This has been a very cleansing evening for me, to be in Maropea Forks hut alone. The last time I was here I camped outside as there were hunters occupying the hut. So I spent very little time in here and tonite, alone, I find myself wandering back to that almost impossibly lonely night when Taylor was lost out there, and I was in here. My emotions run unchecked, I find myself laughing one moment, crying the next, almost looking outside myself and seeing the lonely man who sat here that night, howling, crying, crazed. In ways my boy is still a bit lost and I can only just love him. I have had a taste of how it would feel to lose him. The hug I gave him when he finally appeared just outside from where I write these words is the best hug I will ever give anyone.

A mountain garden in the high forest.

Looking back down Maropea valley from towards Puketaramea.

My little friend the Miromiro who was looking after me. I snuck outside around the hut and shared this moment with him as he did his rounds checking up on me.

3-11-12 Maropea Forks - just after dawn: I have no reason to be up so early, other than I am simply here and choose not to waste a moment of a day in the mountains. I have no agenda what so ever except to just be present with the day. I sit here with my hot strong coffee and ponder the possibilities. I could climb up to the tops to see the view, I could take the hand line I found here in the hut and try the pools down river for a fat tasty trout, or I could just stay here and wander the river flats, render up some of the wood gathered for the stove. I will ponder these things while I wait for the billy to boil. My little Miromiro friend is here and has begun his rounds. Telling me off for my laziness and to get busy!

4-11-12 Top Maropea late afternoon: It began to rain yesterday at Maropea Forks in the late afternoon, very steady and at times very hard. The river being low to begin with handled it well but did start to come up a bit by morning. The weather changed to a cold southerly and though I could have remained at the forks till the afternoon I left quite early in the morning. Truth be told I love to travel in the mountains in those early hours, there seems to me to be more rawness, more wildness, and the mountain wairua (spirits) are stronger in those strange hours between dawn and the emerging day. It began to rain very steadily as I made my way up river, very cold and the water rising. By the time I arrived at Top Maropea it was snowing and I was very cold. I got into my dry gear, had hot soup and drinks and crawled into my down bag and nestled in to warm myself up. I fell fast asleep in this small cold hut I love.
Late Evening: The fire here flares in a momentary brilliance before I work it into a real useful slow burning entity I can use to dry my gear for the morning. Wet boots, socks, gloves, hat, thermals, even my pack. To start in the morning with relatively dry gear is a huge bonus in any persons mountains. And lets me know I have had a useful fire at Top Maropea. The sun sets on Top Maropea, and once again on a solo journey. I have seen no one in nearly 5 days. That crowded parking lot seems a long time ago now. I have learned a few things, as I always seem to in the Ruahine, how can that not be a positive experience? To be 52, and wandering in such terrain on my own, after 20 plus years, and still be learning must mean something.
I love these ranges, these hills, rivers, and streams. I love them dearly. Time starts to whisper her tender warnings in my ear, a new hip as I bash about, thinning hair, and other such gravity losing battles. Yet my inner youthful vigour to be here remains unchanged, strong and powerful. To lose myself within myself, to be in the wilderness inside and out, to just not really know for sure. Just to know those possibilities still exist.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Since coming back from the states I have been pretty busy with work. Driving to Wanganui most days, a round trip to the west coast river and sea, not a bad fate. On the recently rare fine days it can be an astonishing drive in late winter/earlyspring. The volcano's lit up in snow covered splendour, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and the not so silent Tongariro, whose recent belches and spurts have closed the world famous Tongariro track and left an egg like stench permeating our North Island when the wind is right. And of course, for me, the grandest sight of all on a fine day, is the white ribbon like satin appearance of the Ruahine stretching away into the north. Calling me gently.

It occurred to me, that not many years ago, I felt this calling quite differently. A hounding need, and quiet desperation to escape. I am still working out exactly from whom, and from what, but driving today I found myself smiling instead of grimacing and plotting to escape as I would have not too many years ago. I found myself thinking of Tara at home, of my boys. And though none of that is anywhere near perfect, indeed not even close, at least I want to be there as well. So to drive along and look at the Ruahine with a broad smile and the patient feelings of "soon enough, soon enough",  became a new experience for me. I am 52 and still growing and still learning. From people I love and trust, and who love and trust me, and the wild places I love as well.

Just a couple memories to share.......

Tarn on the Whanahuia.

14 Sept. 2001 Howlett's Hut - main Ruahine range... "What a day! A huge snow storm, blustery winds and cold, but beautiful sunshine and blue skies. It was magical. We climbed up from Daphne hut along the dauntingly steep spur to the range. The snow was at river level even 400 plus metres below, so we relished in climbing through the green ferns, the tawahirauriki coated in snow, and up into the tupare, tough and sturdy brushing the snow off like a man in an overcoat. And as the spur narrowed before the ridge we were amongst a winter wonderland.
 Howlett's hut is certainly amongst the most marvelous of any situated in the New Zealand mountains. The Oroua to the west, the Tuki Tuki and Hawkes Bay plains to the east, the full splendour of the main Ruahine range all around. John and I are here alone, a few cups of tea in our favour, and now off to explore the route to Tiraha in the snow. It's wild out there!

Looking back across the Whanahuia and the Oroua valley.

I am always glad I kept these little notebooks. Always a few gems to be revealed. I found one today in the form of words written not by me, but by those I bring into the Ruahine. Mostly American points of view. And if I bring someone into the Ruahine it is for good reason. Here are the words of one such friend, Steve Davidson. I did a crossing with him and my good mate Rich Parduhn, Steve's cousin, back in 2001. It was a nasty weather trip, rain and flooded rivers, cloud obscured tops, the real deal all around. Steve did well. A top man. These are his words...

"Steve Davidson here.. 12/20/01 Visiting with BH from Bayside California.. Tramping, The Ruahine sunset, Maropea Tops, Maropea Forks, Wakelings, Kawhatau river. The next leg in the morning apparently is a vertical drop down to the creek, the river walk and crossings. Checking the flooded depth and rock conditions with your pole. River crossing locations are an art form in indecision. Not too fast of rapids and not too deep. Pool to pool, beach to beach. Every step is important. Tramping is far more difficult than hiking or walking. It involves, walking, hiking, tramping, crawling, and then bashing, and usually in that order. Hiking is pretty easy, tramping is difficult with steep slopes, river drops, the yellow thorn of death (Spaniards), bashing, and even more true is that it does not matter if it its a river, creek, track, or tops. You just find a way. Just get across. Bashing takes more mental and physical prowess. You cannot be afraid. It's only a cliff, or something. No worries. And finally... "Getting your boots wet will be the least of your problems." - the Dobber.

Steve lived. A top bloke indeed.

John by a Spaniard along the Waikamaka. Nasty fauna, but indigenous. They used to be only common on the tops, so to see them here a thousand feet below normal means something.

I shall be in the Ruahine soon enough.

"Somewhere, in the depths of solitude, beyond wilderness and freedom, lay the trap of madness," - Edward Abbey

Monday, August 13, 2012

This Must be the Place

   I lie on my bed listening to the winter rain pour down upon the tin roof of our whare, house, and find myself drifting into that strange dreamy frame of mind between sleep and being awake where the subconscious runs to her own musings. I could be in a mountain hut in the Ruahine thinking I should stir up the wood stove and put the billy on for a cup of tea. I could be in Wisconsin in the midst of a late afternoon summer storm, though the lack of loud thunder and flashes of lightening make that less of a reality. Or I could find myself right here, under our new roof buckled in tight and dry, the wood fire quietly warming us. It is not an unpleasant sensation to lie here between these different worlds. It seems I walk between them anyway.

How quickly time passes! Even though I was aware and trying to be deep in the moments it seems a bit bizarre to be back here sifting through the recollections and memories already. And of course Tara and Charlie have their own such places to sort through. For Charlie far less problematic I suspect, his very visceral, simpler world will allow him to hop back into his life here with far more ease than Tara or I. Tara and I suspect will have a far more complicated time digesting our experiences, our expectations, our realities. Interesting conservations lie ahead in the mist.                                                             


I honestly feel I have to let so many thoughts stew in the cauldron inside me before attempting to articulate them, or even what they REALLY mean. Having lived in another country now for over two decades I am not sure if it is my former home or myself which has changed the most. It was very important for me to see people and place my hands upon them, my family, friends, and a few special peeps in particular. I had very few boxes to tick, but the ones I did went back a long ways and reach way deep inside my soul. It has always been difficult for me to reconcile the past with the present, and I am not quite ready to tackle that yet. And so what may now seem unfulfilled or unsatisfying may eventually prove to be the sweetest encounters of all. Especially if the appreciation works both ways. Those answers most likely lie in front my fire talking it through with Tara, and some as well lie within me alone. In due time I will need to shoulder a pack and head into the Ruahine and talk to the mountains as well.

                                    My nephew Ben, two weeks younger than my own son Taylor. In ways I enjoyed his presence most of all. I love to see his smile. It gives me hope for my own boy, and appreciation of this one.

In the meantime I just wanted to report we are home safely and adjusting to going from holiday mode to the other mode of day to day life. It is good to be back in our little whare and our wood fire. Thank you so much to those who read here for tuning in and reading my ramblings. Kia ora as well to all those whom I saw and shared with in Wisconsin, and to those I did not I appreciate the thought was there and may you be well. Kia ora most of all to my family, my mom, my  sister Kathy (Kia kaha big sister), all my nieces and nephews, and mostly to my little sister Trish and her husband Steve for putting us up, and putting up with us for a month. Kia kaha Little Sister. I am always with you.

     The final hug with my mom. Kia ora Trish for observing this moment with dignity and allowing us a bit of privacy. "Listen dear mother I'll miss you the most......" - Jeff Tweedy

Kia ora and Aroha,

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Kettle Moraine State Forest Park - Wisconsin. Lake Michigan in the far distance.

"How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of Home". - William Faulkner

I came across the above words by Faulkner earlier today, and they sent a shiver through me. In a matter of days I will be boarding a plane, along with Tara and Charlie, and flying halfway around the world to my original place, Wisconsin. I have not been home in over six years. Faulkner's words struck me as I am not totally sure if I am leaving home to visit a place I am from, or leaving this place I now live to return home. A matter of semantics I know, but the real truth, and the connection to Faulkner is that I have felt his words strongly both in Wisconsin and in Aotearoa. Or maybe there is part of me in both places. Here in the mountains of the Ruahine, in Wisconsin the glaciated moraines and endless forests and lakes, and in both people I love very much.

My sisters Kathy and Trish, and my mom on my last trip home in late 2006.

There are so many people I am looking forward to putting my arms around. Family and friends both. And to visit places so integral to me and show Charlie a place that is also part of him. A sadness lingers in me that my oldest son Taylor is not joining us, but that is that. I love him, I worry for him, and I suspect that sadness will be beside me for some time yet to come. It is mine to own.

I am also somewhat nervous about what I will find in Wisconsin, and in America, in terms of having lived outside it for so long now looking in. The political discourse in my home state and in the whole country seems so mean spirited and no one seems to hear anything but their own tune. I know where my beliefs lie and I hope that does not clash with just putting my arms around people and hugging them - most likely never to see most ever again. I have had my eyes opened, perhaps they were half open back there, by some wonderful and amazing people here in Aotearoa. The way things seem to be unfolding in the world these days seems very ungenerous to so many, and to the earth herself. A simplistic view perhaps, but I am a simple man.

Friends Rick and Jeff on the Union Terrace at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Both have visited me here and spent many days in the Ruahine. This is a moment from my last trip home. Jeff still lives in Madison, and Rick in Milwaukee, both places I will visit. The Terrace above is where we all really cemented our bonds, debating and discussing, listening to the Friday or Saturday night blues or reggae bands, and drinking a few beers and stuff as well. It is still an important place for all of us.

Lambeau Field - Green Bay Wisconsin - Home of the Green Bay Packers! The colours, the pageantry, the marching bands - the states does indeed do some things very well!  Green Bay is where I grew up. I lived a mere few blocks from this stadium, used to hear the roar of the crowd as a kid and we played football in our front yards during the games, then run inside to hear the radio and  what had happened. I am going to meet some of those "kids" in a few weeks time, and very much looking forward to doing so. There are more than a couple of us "kids" who didn't make it very far past then. I still miss them too.  Green Bay and Lambeau are also very special places as well. Having my moms side of the family from Chicago - home of the hated Bears, made my childhood quite interesting. When the Bears played the Packers at Lambeau our house was taken over by grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends we called uncle and aunt, and best of all our cousins. Man those were great weekends as a kid. The Packers won't be playing while we are home but I am loving thought of showing it to Charlie. I have attended events in a fair few American cities and stadiums, none compare to a day like above at Lambeau Field. Green Bay taught the world to tail gate.

Even as I sit here now, some days before leaving, I realize and understand how quickly this time in my other home will pass. The Ruahine have taught me that well. To not anticipate too much, to not be disappointed or angry if things do not go my way - the mountains are very good for that! And mostly to appreciate and relish each second, each hour, each day, as if it could be the last time ever we are amongst such places, or people. I came half way around the world to learn those lessons which I needed to learn most. Now I shall be going the other way to apply them. And soon enough I will be back here, in my new home. There is a part of my soul that has been claimed by the Ruahine. A part that has truly found a home. And will never be lost again.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reconciling Footsteps

12/04/12 Top Maropea
Robb - solo

The grey misty light fades over the valley below, and above to the south brings quiet dollops of rain upon the setting before me. It was only being inside the tiny hut waiting for a brew that brought awareness of the increasing rain. I could hear it bouncing upon the tin roof. A welcoming sound when here and secure. It has taken me 3 months and over two trips to arrive here once again, as twice prior my efforts to cross the open and exposed saddle have been in vain. So though today I walked up to Sunrise in the mist and greyness I did so with a smile, in spite of the inevitable steepness and heavy pack. For I knew I would eventually arrive here, which I have. In spite of the rain and the mist, it was still. Almost an ethereal silence, except the occasional explosion of a chubby kerereu lifting his bulk off a miro branch. And the plop of water on everything, including me. At Sunrise I stopped to boil the billy, rest up, and watch the gentle southerly roll in. Having crossed the exposed saddle now many times the cloud and mist welcomed me into the distance, to a route and a place I know well. Wind is a different connection, but not one I needed to worry of today. I still write the few hours between here and Sunrise is perhaps one of the most beautiful walks in the world. At least to me.

Upper tawhairauriki forest. The reward for the climb, and it only gets better.

Elegant Beauty.

Clear your head and climb out the clouds!

The contrast between the gentle rain and the place was in this moment. Why am I here?

 Evening: 12/04/12 Top Maropea: I was last here almost a year ago, (25 May), with my oldest son Taylor. We stayed here on the first night of what was supposed to be 5 nights of he and I alone in the mountains. Little did I know of what was to come. Taylor lost and alone all night along a freezing Ruahine mountain river, and me in the fire warmed confines of Maropea Forks hut spending the loneliest and most terrified night of my life. The heartening call of the whio in the shadows of the night and the growing daylight I will never forget. So in the morning I will head to that very place. It is The Roar, or the time of year when the big red stag deer hold their ground, near maddened to mate. That means the huts will most likely be filled of choppered in hunters. So I have brought my tent to camp. I just want to be in the area and figure it all out.

 The next morning dawned with blue skies and frost. Nothing for it but follow the sense of wander lust down through the forest to the sound of the rivers and streams and path they provide. The sun light upon the tawahairauriki pulls me along.

13/04/12: Morning tea on the Maropea river: I came here looking for something though I am not exactly sure what. Redemption? Reassurance? Something to do with my son I cannot quite grasp. The grey weather has given way to a cold southerly overnight, and my early morning journey to the Maropea a fine way to warm up to travel down river amongst the shadows and chill of the still sunless tight valley. I am, at least in the mountains, and early morning man and I love traveling until the sun peaks over the eastern ridges and shines down upon the river. Then it is time for a rest, boil the billy for a cup of tea, and let the sun's warmth soak into my very essence. The water sparkles and glimmers,  coloured only by her stones or the beauty of her depths. Just before I stopped for morning tea a large rainbow trout leaped out of a large pool, and then disappeared into the depths of its refuge. Then almost as immediately a lone whio flew overhead just about making me tip over into the river as I craned my neck to make sure of what I was seeing.  Soon I came around a bend to a side stream meeting the river and came upon a pair of whio, male and female, both singing loudly in their respective distinct calls. Either they were welcoming me, or laughing at my ungainly efforts to travel down river in comparison to their own, but they seemed pretty comfortable in allowing me to approach so either one is acceptable to me. A spectacular day to just enjoy a mountain river.

The waterfall a mere 20 minutes or so from the forks and the lovely confines of Maropea Forks hut. I sat here awhile and pondered why I did not tell Taylor to stop and wait for me here. I recalled thinking that after he walked off ahead of me. It was probably my one chance to avert a horrible afternoon and evening for us both and I missed it. And the river rolls on.....

Ataahua! A rapid on the lower Maropea. One to be carefully negotiated. The next day another pair of whio guided me back up river to here from the hut, disappearing into a quiet little spot on the far side of this fall. I said Kia Ora and carried on.

13 April evening: Camped on the Maropea river: What a lovely fortunate day on the river. Shadow to sun, foreboding to welcoming on the whim of a rivers bend. My thoughts could not help but be pulled back to Taylor a year ago in this very place. I guess some of my pondering and confusion in pinning down my thoughts is that out in the world he still seems a bit lost to me, and I am finding it difficult to figure out how to help him. Just as that night a year ago I knew I could not help him at all. He helped himself, but he also put himself in very bad spot. That is what worries me still.

As I suspected, there were choppered in hunters staying at the hut. Barak, Craig, and James, all young guys in their late 20's, and to be fair working the tough rugged country pretty hard. They had six stag heads lined up near the hut and looking for more. It was a macabre sort of display, but thus is the nature of The Roar, and the uncomfortable need to keep the introduced deer population down. They are here till early next week and have enough beer, food, and supplies to last a month. The luxury of a helicopter. They offered to make room in the hut, and even shared a few beers with me, a first from chopper hunters for me, but I felt a need to be on my own so politely declined.

At one point we were all sitting on the porch enjoying a river chilled beer. And the guys started talking about how the night prior they had been reading the hut book and were transfixed on an entry written by a guy in the hut who had lost his son, and what he must have been going through. I quietly told them I was that guy. It was another moment of silence shared at Maropea Forks hut, (please see prior post).

Another side stream joins the river. The symmetry of Nature never fails to amaze me.


There are two whio in this moment. Can you spot them?

Top Maropea 14/04 12: There is a new hut book here at Top Maropea. The prior one was the only one I have ever written in, started just before my very first visit the better part of 15 years ago. For a hut located a few hours away from Sunrise that speaks volumes. And why I love so much to cross that open saddle and arrive here in the wild back country. 38 times my name was entered in that old hut book, either alone or with other fine people, including Tara, Taylor and Charlie. There are some very cool stories and moments in that old book. So to open the new book and find the inscription above seems pretty apt, and very much an honour. This is indeed my favourite Ruahine spot of all, amongst many, but this one, this drafty cold hard to find wood and build an open fire freezing in the winter and especially the morning cold cold cold place never fails to warm my soul. It was and is the gateway to my Ruahine Dreams. Kia ora!

The trees of the Ruahine are, along with the whio, the essence and soul of these ranges. The expired tawahairauriki in particular always grab my attention as they beseech and cry to the heavens. This one is the Guardian of Top Maropea. It has been there long before I became a manuhiri, and will be here long after my ashes become one with the whenua at her feet.

A view of Top Maropea just emerging out the forest on the steep and grueling climb out of the side creek and up further to here. A view the legs and lungs are quite happy to see.

14-04-12 Top Maropea: It is never easy to enjoy a fire here in this cold damp hut surrounded by even colder, damper forest. At over 1200 metres finding any dry usable wood is difficult, much less rendering it into useable portions. And the open fire at this height poses its own problems. This was never a popular spot for the deer cullers, wet wood, hard to find, and difficult to get blazing.

Yet there are a few secrets to know, mostly involving time and preparation, and if done correctly one can create a fire to warm the soul, if not the hut, very briefly. It is always best to have a very warm sleeping bag to climb into here! Today, I had a bit of time, did the preparation, and I feel I have a fire I will enjoy. Every time I do here is a bonus. Some of my best fires ever lit have been right here.


Early next morning. A stunning day!

On the saddle looking down into the headwaters of the Waipawa valley. Not a good place to fall.

Maropea Thoughts

"An iridescent grey cloud looms over the valley head
 ghostly shadows and mist over
 Orupu and Te Atua Mahuru
hidden from view
bulky friends still there regardless
It lowers itself as a crown upon the distinct features of Puketaramea
a place I know well
climbing to in the emerging light of dawn
after the longest and loneliest hours of my life
my son gone
I climbed relentlessly and focused
then I sat upon her and wept
for my son, for me
The Ruahine took my boy for her own
then she gently handed him back to me
I am still not sure what it is I came looking for
but I have found something."

Te hei Mauri Ora!!!!!