As we prepare to return from our family trip to Queenstown (NZ), I find myself reflecting on the meaning of life and the role we get to play in it. While we were away from our little One Tree Point nest in the North Island, Covid-19, which was eradicated in NZ, made a new apparition. We also experienced the distant effects of a 5.7 magnitude earthquake from the comfort of our holiday apartment. It is a great reminder that we are only mere humans in this massive expanse, who have very little control over what’s happening around us. We like to think that we are in perfect control, but in reality, we aren’t. Illness doesn’t always come with a warning sign and neither does Mother Nature.
I have always loved nature. I love how it’s ever changing; I love its bare beauty, I love its grandeur and I love how it keeps us humble. As I sat down breathing in the fresh and pure air, I looked up and took a good look around me. I was surrounded by a scenery very different from the one that I am accustomed to in our Northland neighbourhood. It was slightly overcast, but I could tell that majestical snow peak mountains were hiding behind the clouds. For a brief moment, I wished the clouds weren’t there. I wanted to see all of the mountains’ beauty. But I have no super power to make the clouds dissipate so I sat by the lake and watched.
Had the clouds not been there initially, I wouldn’t have been able to view the grand reveal of the mountains and the sparkles emerging at the surface of the lake, and creating that very surreal mirror upside down effect. As I waited patiently, I listened to the boys laughter’s, watched them run around and have so much fun feeding the ducks... perhaps I wouldn’t have noticed that as much too should the clouds have not been there? Perhaps the pit stop would have still been stunning at first, but having the great reveal brought the magic of Mother Nature alive?
I love the mountains. There has always been something about mountains that makes me want to conquer them. Not only for the view that you get to take in once you are at the top, but because of the journey you undertake to reach their summit.
I love the physical and mental challenge that they bring. I love the excitement that brews inside me to discover what it is that they will put on my path, the smells, the sounds and how their fresh air naturally cools down my body. In my mind, there aren’t many down sides to mountains... particularly when they are as majestical as the ones of New Zealand’s South Island.
They always make me realise how small we are in the grand scheme of all things. They get to see, experience, feel, hear and smell so much more than we do. Perhaps they aren’t rushing through life as much as we are? Perhaps they just let nature run its course? They too can experience many forms of trauma, but they will still manage to stand tall, revealing another aspect of their bare beauty and in due time, life will emerge from them once again. As I sat watching them, I think they reminded me that I too need to stop rushing through things. I need to make the effort to put more time aside to take in the beauty that’s around and in all of us... starting with me. I AM slowly healing from encephalitis and my acquired brain injury. Perhaps not as quickly as I’d wish to, but I am healing and most importantly growing tremendously as a person.
During our trip I spent so much time taking in all of the mountains’ beauty and grandeur. Although pictures will never do them justice, I hope that they help remind me that I am ok. I hope that they keep motivating me to move forward, at my own pace and through the ups and downs so I too keep managing to reveal my humble inner beauty. Whatever shape or form ill health takes, it always triggers additional challenges that makes for somewhat of a hard climb back to the top. The few weeks preceding our trip, my Weird Wonderful Brain was oh so very slow and I was so sick of walking around feeling green most of the time. My whole focus was on getting better for our upcoming family trip. Now, as I am reflecting back on our family trip, I am just so grateful to have been able to be present, part take, explore, admire all of the beauty around me and create an abundance of memories that we can all cherish for years to come. Ill health is nothing but a distant memory...yep, there is definitely something about the mountains.
The mountains and the cold air have re-energised my brain and given so much back in return...no wonder I love them so much.