DAY 259...Watching, Learning, Knowing

When I see the night sky, I already know that the next day is going to be a great weather day and it is! Nowadays, I know about such things. Dare I say that I can just about feel them? Sorry if I seem to be rubbing it in, but all I had to do was watch and know exactly what I was looking for when I launched myself off that cray-boat. Enough said, no point dwelling on it. Especially as the cray-boat and myself are not together at the moment. But (and you have to laugh with me about this) for a strange moment, I was more or less okay about not being on the water today. In fact, when I wandered down towards the beach this morning, I already knew what I was going to see.

But beforehand, my farm chore for today was to remember to let the chickens out. Now laugh if you must, but when I let them out, they just stood staring at me the same as any normal insane person would do. I said “Off you all go, and have a nice day!” but they just stood there, clucking at me and still staring at the chicken coop door!! It took a while before I realised that they were waiting for their morning feed! Even the chickens have attitude on this farm!!

Then it’s time to go down onto the beach. It was particularly interesting today, as I’ve been taking notes each day about the wind direction, the speed and the swells, and that has actually helped me to better understand what is happening. Today for example, I know that it’s a lot less than I need and want this section to be for me to successfully get up and go along Farewell Spit. For once, there were no tears of frustration. I actually said a quiet “thank you” to Mother Nature for having shown me, for the lessons I have learned over the past week by just watching; realising at last that I don’t really need anyone to advise me, I just have to watch each day and absorb.

Then I get a message that there’s an option to head into Collingwood, so I hightail it back to the cottage, grab a lift and speed off for a great few hours in and around this little town. Coffee, chats, and meeting some more wonderful people. Here, I have to mention Nicole, the lady who makes coffins out of willow canes that she plaits and weaves by hand (www.gowillow.co.nz) But I also learn at the same time, that willows are being damaged by a foreign, invasive species of aphid, and that cicadas can actually chew the branches and damage them. I’ll never, ever, forget this. It’s just one of the many random lessons I have learned on this incredible journey, such as white herons are killing and drowning wax eye birds (something that Mary told me).

In and around Collingwood, I also visit a couple of stores and the local café, as well as a community stall where locals sell their veggies, chutneys and other produce using an honesty box to collect the proceeds. Thanks Collingwood, you are a neat little find! I also stop by some local residents for a chat, together with a cup of tea or two. Then it’s time to collect Mary from her art class and head for home. No time for a paddle on the inlet today but, honestly I don't mind too much. I get back to my cottage, pull on my crocs and head out, walking up, up and even further up to the top of one of the huge cliffs that look far out over the ocean. It’s a beautiful evening, and I have a vantage point that most people could only dream of, being able to look for miles around. I sit there until the sun starts to sink towards nightfall, then quickly walk and jog back home to say “Hi!” to Hobo the cat, and to get the fire going and my dinner underway. As I have already pointed out in the heading of today’s blog, it’s been a day of watching, learning and knowing. For once, I welcome the storms heading our way, having seen what it needs to be like and now knowing what I am looking for.

My smiles today:
I’m never too old to learn new things, lots of random stuff that I’ll never forget.
The way Mother Nature has shown and taught me this week.
Collingwood is this great little community. I had almost forgotten that rural New Zealand could be so special.
Being able to walk for hours, discovering new vantage points and sites.
The sheep giving me that "lady you are nuts" look as I passed by!

My thoughts today:
Sometimes, you have to stop worrying, wondering and doubting. You just have to have faith that things will work out. Maybe not how you planned, but that’s perhaps the way it’s meant to be.

Goodnight from Red. Ma Te Wa.

Incredible cliffs.

Incredible cliffs.

Their look says it all.

Their look says it all.