“Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words!”
Well at least Eliza Doolittle was.
Me, I would be better saying,
“Words, words, words, I’m so stuck for words!”
Which for anyone who knows me, must surely be a first.
I LOVE words.
I love working out their origins, the way they look on paper; their shapes and rhythms. And I love the way they can have multiple meanings, depending on context, dependent on the company, the glint in an eye, the emphasis on a syllable, the quickness of response, the back and forth.
Words can bind or divide with such ease and speed they become almost the most powerful tool available to us mere mortals.
But I digress –
words, they confuse, confound and cause all sorts of meanderings.
Like our meander into Glenorchy Back Country, South Island, New Zealand.
And for those who don’t know where New Zealand is, the bottom of the planet, almost in the Pacific Ocean. I think God created the world from the top and as he moved down, his artistry became more and more breathtaking; his masterpiece complete at Glenorchy.
And that’s the point – this trip was SO amazing,
So breathtakingly beautiful.
So filled with laughter and energy and love and caring and support that
WORDS FAIL ME!!!!!
No really, they do.
From our first meeting for a drink, which ended up including a dinner, we knew we were in a special place, where like minded people understood the words spoken, the words unspoken, the meanings behind them.
People who immediately saw the laughter in an eye, or the nervous hesitation in the curve of a mouth.
We knew, without any hesitation that we were heading for a special 5 days and we were right.
Although perhaps heading wasn’t quite the right word, try meandering.
As some of us did on the way home via a fairy light boat or two (see blog All grown up? Really?) but to bed we went, finally.
Surprisingly, despite creaky heads for some, we were all up and ready to go as planned, bright and early referring to the day and time, not necessarily the people. See what I mean about words ?
And that was the beginning of a Real world:
no internet, no radio, no news, Facebook:
sometimes not even lights.
But again, words – there were lights, just not the ones we normally think of when using the word.
The sky was alive with lights, THOUSANDS of stars, breathtaking, moving, shimmering, glimmering, glowing, even flowing….. just endless stars that kept us spellbound.
A walk in the dark one night, clambering down the side of a cliff in total darkness trusting Bijmin our leader, lead us to more lights.
At first we thought they were stars, but they were not.
They were glow worms – THOUSANDS of them, hanging under a huge cave like boulder across the river, which in the dark was invisible to us, and creating a second heaven of starlight.
We gawked, silenced and humbled by the enormity and power of our universe and thought how easily we could have missed it except we dared to brave the dark and damp.
We rode around mountains, seeing glaciers, snow, water as blue as the sky, and then as transparent as glass so that you couldn’t be sure what was reflection and what was mountain.
We rode through forests.
With Beech trees as tall as cathedrals, moss and lichen dripping,
streams and waterfalls a constant surprise.
At times the forest was so silent we felt like the first and only people in the world.
At other times it was so full of bird sounds it made me laugh for joy.
The forests were filled with dreams.
Thoughts of dinosaurs, ogres, goblins, Bilbo, Gandalf, Frodo.
You name it, they were there.
Silent, watching us feeling them.
The waterfalls, the walks, the views –
We scrambled up and down, feeling, smelling, sensing the forest
We camped in cold, clear places and warm snug places.
We shared our meals with our beloved horses.
We brushed our teeth in public, and even had a bath with a view.
Making lunch was always such an adventure
Brushing teeth was an adventure 🙂
so warm and welcoming
What remained after a horrific fire 😦
We lunched along river banks and on grass hills, we talked, we laughed, we giggled, we lay in the sun, we rode bare back, we swam our horses in glacial pools.
Returning from my first ever swim, bareback…..
We cantered, we jumped, we fell (or at least I did – twice in the first hour of our ride!!!!) we laughed again and shared- stories, drinks, food, fears, loves, joys, life with a capital L
We felt like children on a school camp, in the moment, thrilling to the joy of being alive, overwhelmed by the beauty of our surroundings, humbled by the generosity of spirit shown by our horses, stripped to our essence camping together and always laughing and playing.
Our little group, from worlds as far apart as Tuscon Arizona, New Hampshire, South Africa, Nebraska, California, Sydney, Noosa, Melbourne were united, bonded forever by this experience.
Bonded by a thread as smooth as silk and as solid as chainmail.
Linked through our connection to our horses.
Joined by an experience that cannot be put into words and that cannot be replicated, nor understood except by those of us who were so fortunate to have experienced these remarkable animals, so patient, so responsive, so willing, so kind, so powerful in a country of such extravagant beauty.
Photos are thanks to ‘the crew’ – I can claim No credit for them – very grateful team