Last week I packed up all the children for a journey over the nearby Takaka hill. It is not a trip I have done often despite living in this area for much of my life. Stopping me has been fear. It's not a particularly treacherous drive but I do hold onto a quite irrational fear of edges of hills from childhood.
Our destination was through winding roads to beautiful beaches beyond, in the Golden Bay. Summer camping spots full to the brim with tents don't hold much appeal to me though the beaches, wildlife, galleries and roadside stalls will now I'm sure tempt me back again. We past Pohara, Tata and Wainui at which point I wondered why I'd waited so long to go back to the area. We thought of their Dad and how much he loves adventure, a contrast to my homebodyness, as I willed myself through the fear to set a good example to my children.
We arrived at Totarnui and spent awhile on the beach watching the waterskiiers at full tide. A girl fell off and was knocked out. It was comforting to watch the rescue helicopter arrive what seemed like about 20minutes later. Skatey found a bike park where he attracted a crowd of adoring 8- 10 year old boys to watch his unicycle stunts.
The event that bought us to the bay started at 1pm. We were there to farewell the teen on his rite of passage to manhood. We didn't know what to expect really, though the course had come highly recommended. As his mother I can't explain the experience but from my perspective it was a very powerful and spiritual journey. Boys leave their mothers for the rite of passage with their fathers or mentors, other returning "trackers" and a group of Elders, for their week long rites. As a mother you say goodbye to the boy in a ceremony and welcome back a young man as we did yesterday. It seems all involved including the fathers gained so much spiritually from the experience that I would recommend it to families with teenage boys. Our extended family and even one of the teen's teachers was there to welcome him back as a young man. The love and support was almost overwhelming. We were also very touched to see the impression it had made on the other young men involved.
For me personally it was a joy to see respectful, spiritual, kind, caring, strong men are for real.
I applaud Tracks Trust for the experience they gave our family.


Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred said...

Thanks for this Gilly. We had heard of this and were keen to know more. Now we have both a website link and a personal recommendation. We were in your part of the world earlier this month and loved it, especially all the roadside fruit and veg stalls, and the wonderful food bus which helped us avoid the busy Motrepolis at lunchtime as we drove home.

BellaBree said...

wow, thats very exciting and moving for you all...awesome!