I’m over in New Zealand at the moment visiting my daughter. She lives in Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. Set in green pastures, open spaces and country quiet farmland the roads are lined with citrus orchards and it’s like you’re driving down a giant maze.
Kerikeri has a modern shopping centre and that’s where my daughter has a fantastic café known as S’wich. It’s probably the best café in the world, well my world anyway. She is about to turn 35 and I can’t believe how blessed I am to be able to spend time with her. Mind you, she puts in a 12 hour day and is pretty tired when she comes home but being in the same town is enough for me.
I go to the café each day for the free coffees a father is entitled to and then wait at home for her return. The house is set on a few hectares and is less than 2 kms from the town centre.
You enter through a set of wooden gates then travel down a grey metal drive past Macadamia nut trees, mature avocado and tangelo trees before coming to a turn where you see the house set on a small hill overlooking the orchard. The shelter belts on each side of the property make it feel totally private but glimpses of the far distant tree-lined hills arouse your appetite for exploration.
Today I’ve decided to cross the grey metal of drive and head off through the old orchards towards the 30 foot tall shelter belts. As I approach these imposing green sprit walls I have no idea that there is a secret world on the west side of the field. In the wooden canyons I’m dwarfed by the vegetation where even the small trees are way bigger than me.
I continue walking until I am deep amongst the trees where all I get is a filtered view of everything and when all of a sudden a crunch noise comes from the undergrowth a wave of fear overtakes me and I begin to talk to the trees. The breeze drops off and this gives the trees the time to listen to me. I tell them all my dreams and now I’m sure that they will come true. It’s easy to talk when your words won’t reach another’s ear. Life’s a dream.
The breeze picks up and the tree’s leaves begin to fall as if to tell me that life is a cycle that just goes on and on. And that cycle passes from father to son to daughter then to their children and having been given life there is an implied agreement to death. My wish is that long after I have gone my children will continue to have happiness and realise how much happiness they gave to me.
Maybe some night in the future when my daughter is having supper she might look out across the rolling farm to the shelter belts and hear the trees saying “you would never know that this too was once a field of dreams.”