I did the Auckland City Walk today, with my mum, my daughter and my daughter’s friend. It’s on the edge of the Waitakere Ranges, and is part of a bird sanctuary called Ark in the Park. You don’t see many birds on the walk, as they’re spread out and tend to stay away from the public paths, but there is an abundance of native plants and trees.
It’s not a difficult walk. The path is well maintained and it takes about an hour to walk the loop (if you don’t keep stopping to take photographs). We took a detour and went uphill (and upstairs) for a better view, so we took a bit longer. There are a few tracks that branch off the Auckland City Walk, and I’ve done some of them previously. The Montana Heritage Trail takes about four hours, and I’ve done that before. The detour we took was a small portion of that track.
It was so good to be out and about with my camera. I’ve missed taking photos. Been too long.
It was really too hot to be bush walking today (it’s New Zealand’s hottest January on record), but it was nice to be out and about, and good to be taking photographs. It’s Auckland Anniversary Day tomorrow (yay, no work!) so we’re hoping to head into town to capture some of the festivities.
Before a sleepy, disheveled sun even thinks about poking her nose over the horizon, the first calls go out. A cheery wake up song to start a day of industrious productivity. As the sky lightens, first to a dull charcoal, then slowly, persistently, to a stunning, vivid blue, the chorus of melody grows stronger and louder. Sweethearts are courted with flirtatious serenades, and materials are meticulously gathered for the construction of homes in anticipation of future families.
Today is the kind of spring day where the grass looks clean and fresh, inviting you to kick off your jandals and discard your worries, and run barefoot, scattering lambs and pukeko before you as peals of laughter ring out.
Instead, I have to work in an office with no windows, and on Friday they’re turning the air conditioning off to install some new system. Days like today, adulting sucks.
I saw two chairs, a matching set,
a pair, just like we used to be.
They sat alone, apart, offset,
a dark and stark analogy.
They called to me, those empty seats,
that spoke of loss and past defeats,
and even as light left the day,
I found I could not walk away.
I looked at the carefully blended eyeshadow,
and the eyebrows that held the perfect arch…
The long, thick, dark lashes that held
the perfect amount of curve…
Cheekbones subtly highlighted, and skin
so soft, so smooth, that it seemed impossibly,
And a sweet cupid’s bow mouth in a shade
that made me think of the heirloom rose
Mother used to tend so carefully…
And I marvelled over artistry so clever
that no one would ever look at her and
guess at the scars she hid beneath
the elegance and sophistication.
The distinctive cry of gulls
provides a familiar counterpoint
to the low murmur of
Splashes of white decorate
water that leans more toward teal
than the Pacific Blue that
carries its name.
We steal a mental snapshot
as State Highway 25 carries us
around the next corner,
and the next,
this is how it will remain,
preserved as in our memories,
yet it changes
even as we watch.
Memories float like whispers,
tattered dreams of distant times.
An echo of childish laughter
trips down towards the creek.
The thump of the pump in the old tin shed
laid to rest in a rusty bed.
The gurgle of the creek calls me on,
the forgotten allure of Marmite and watercress sandwiches.
The hay barn where dust motes
danced in shafts of light
and the old abandoned cowshed –
Destroyed on a path to progress.
But in my dreams, a little girl
who looks a lot like me
still searches for goose eggs to take home for Mother
and sits in the feijoa tree
and dares the world to steal her dreams.