DAY 266...Pacing Tiger

While I’m doing all this waiting, I find myself in a little bit of a repetitive zone. Anyone who knows me well will understand that this is the typical caged tiger syndrome. Back and forth, back and forth, along the same roads and tracks; trying not to think too much; setting only small goals; being out in the sunshine in the fresh, crisp, morning air; walking, running and trying to sit by the ocean.

Going along the roads this morning, it’s crisp with frost on the grass and the hills seem to have more snow on them; it’s beautifully still and magical. For a moment, I think it would be nice to be up there, sitting on the snowy peaks, watching the sun rise. But I haven’t the slightest idea how to get up there and, in any case, Cuzzie probably wouldn’t cope with the climb. I continue on my well-worn path, load my pack, pull on my gloves and head out to see the seals, the shags and the false gannets. On the way to the Point on the track this morning, not so much as a single bird crossed my path, so I zoned out and just did a lot of thinking instead. Thinking about my journey and also thinking about the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. After all, this day and this journey is for them. They try so hard to help the many people with mental health problems but, in itself, the problem is huge because so many people are affected by mental health issues in this day and age. Most people seem to think that a lot is being done to help those affected. But, in reality, it’s just people in the corporate world talking because it makes them feel better. In truth, the majority of people still hide away from the real issues and the actual care factor is almost zilch.

How I wish we could all be totally open and honest, (not only with ourselves, but also with family, friends and work colleagues) without feeling that by sharing, one becomes a target of lunchroom gossip or the latest topic of conversation at dinner parties. If only mental health could be accepted in today’s society in the same way that cancer can now be discussed openly. Instead, most people with mental health issues are still made to feel as if they are a disappointment to society, time-wasters and liabilities at work. That actually saddens me a lot.

I sort of find myself getting on and off my soapbox today as I tramp along, tossing in matters that I’ve dealt with in my life so far. Anyway, it seems to be a cleansing sort of day, a day for clearing out my head. When I get to the Point, I sit and watch the seals frolic in the water. It’s rather nice to be tucked away from the wind, but although it’s relatively calm and sunny today, it’s a total torment for me. Back on the track I go, to find food and to quench my thirst.

Back at the hut, the Weka are now out in force, what crazy birds! Then it’s up the hill and down the other side, being followed and talked to by at least four fantails. They flutter quite close to me, chatting all the while. They are beautiful and today, by landing just in front of me on the branches, they even seem to want to show me the bugs they’re catching and guzzling. Telling them I’ll see them all again tomorrow, I jump in Cuzzie, head round to Tata Beach and go for a quick paddle on the calm, blue ocean. More torment! I try to enjoy just being on the water but to be honest, it doesn’t work.

As I head past the port, I swing in, and today I’m able to chat to the cray-fishing guys who are just every bit as frustrated as I am, because none of us are going anywhere for at least ten days!! Curse it!! If they can’t be out on the water then, holy heck, I certainly won't be out on it either!! But thanks for the chat guys, at least it made me feel a little better.

Back at the farm cottage, I light the fire, give the pigs some scraps and chat to Joyce. Then it’s inside for the night because it’s going to be cold. Although it’s a little calmer in the valley tonight, I can actually hear the ocean and that is never a good sign. The crazy thing is that even bigger waves and heavier swells are forecast, six metre high waves later this week (or so they say!). I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or cry but will probably end up doing both at the same time.

My smiles today:
Day Three of my challenge done and dusted! A twenty kilometre run/walk and a short paddle.
Me up on my soapbox again!
The seals having fun in the sun and in the water.
The blessing of this cottage. I am totally humbled each day.
The coolest home-made swing up in the trees where I sat and swung until I became too cold.

But, do you know what would really make me smile the most? If everybody were to text a $3 donation (less than the cost of a cup of coffee) to MHFNZ – REDZNZ 2446!

My thoughts today:
Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture you; mind, body and soul.

Good night from Red. Ma Te Wa.

My beautiful morning.

Really, Gannets?

Really, Gannets?