Walking here in my ancient ancestral lands was an experience. I first saw Tane Mahuta in 1955 and while time has passed since that date, the profound impact lives on. These are timeless markers with our culture and tribal history and heritage. Sharing this experience with others from my family and around the world was also magical. And, with a guide linked to me by common ancestry and descent; with such a profound sense of identity, the whole was an integrated affirmation of self and connection; inter-connectedness. While I knew the detailed history of the entire place and also the many plants and trees, having been brought up with a sense that the forest was both our pharmacy and supermarket to be shared and accessed with love and absolute respect, it was still remarkable to hear the korero (stories), the karakia (incantations) and to become as one with with my ancestors in my own language. And then of course, as the light began to fall, with Tui tinkling in the canopy and Ruru and Kiwi stating their claim within the boundaries of the night, to stand once again in the presence of the giants of Waipoua, Te Matua Ngahere and then, Tane Mahuta, was te rekindle the strongest sense of timeless being and location, of ancestry and heritage, of deepest spirituality. As Wiremu articulated and affirmed what for me was a time of reconnection and ancestral embrace, the sense of being as one with ancient nature was quite overwhelming; but also, an amazing recharge of the batteries.
For those wanting a unique experience, this cannot be bettered.
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