We strongly recommend this evening outing. The walk is easy and the factual information and Maori wisdom which were imparted gradually along this journey are priceless. I lived in the Waitakere Ranges for 16 years amongst Kauri trees and other native trees, birds and bugs; I learnt more is this evening with our Footprint guide than I had learnt over the last 30 years!
At every step of the way respect was given to God, the forest and to our ancestors, prayers of gratitude flowed from our guide with a voice seeped with love and beauty - it sent tingles down my arms. Both Peter and I had deep spiritual experiences which have left us both with a sense that something extra was given to us – it is difficult to put into words, it is something neither of us had when we first walked into the forest on Saturday night but we both walked out of the forest with – perhaps the word I am looking for is Mana … I am not sure, we still have so much to learn from Shane, his family and friends!
Whatever it is that we were given, it was so powerful that it inspired me to sing part of a chant at the foot of Tane Mahuta (the largest kauri in the world) as my acknowledgment of how great this tree and his grandfather tree, Te Maua Ngahere (the oldest Kauri in the world) and all the younger brother and sister trees all are – they have survived despite all sorts of stresses placed on them year after year and I believe that each tree in this forest is truly blessed to be still standing strong today! I NEVER do things like singing out lout in front of people I barely know, I am actually very surprised with myself as I am a behind the stage sort of person!
Oh, and I did this walk with a broken toe which has gone from me limping and hobbling to me walking like a normal person again! Hmmmm I wonder what else I took from Tane Mahuta and Te Maua Ngahere?
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