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The Call of the Tui
Posted On 05/10/2020 13:05:16 by kiwibarb

I make a mug of coffee and take it with me as I sneak out the back door, careful not to wake the other occupants of the house. It’s not my house. I am a visitor to the island where Lyn and I lived for many years, and where we go back for a visit several times a year.

Dawn is breaking. The hydrangeas, magnolias and other large trees are just huge dark blobs, waiting for the sun to outline their shapes and bring forth their colours. I walk down George’s long metalled track to the road, clutching my coffee mug and sipping the first tangy drink of the day. Te Toki Road. Most of the roads around here have Maori names. Te Toki Road is pretty, with wooden fencing and footpath all along one side, and bush everywhere. What we call bush, is expanses of various trees and shrubs. Most of them are native to New Zealand and provide food , in the form of nectar and berries, for the birds.

Nestled in the bush, there are the homes of the Palm Beach residents, and most of them can’t be seen from the road. They are sheltered from prying eyes. Some have an intricate stair-like access from the road to the actual house, little steps cut into the hillside, and neatly bordered with timber. Some have wishing wells or ponds that glisten in the early light.

Slowly the sun edges its way over the horizon, and fills the early sky with sharp rays that penetrate the clear air and tint the sky from its neutral colour to delicate blue, and then to brilliant blue. To watch this change is fascinating, because although I’m watching, I don’t see it happening. One second it’s pale and the next it’s fractionally darker, and never can the moment of change be detected.

The wild flowers begin releasing their delicate and varied perfumes, and a gentle, barely discernable hum fills the air as bees and other insects respond to the waking of the day, and a faint rustling is going on in the leaves of the undergrowth beneath the trees. 

I’m not the only living being to notice this quickening of the day. I hear the tui begin his serenade, loud and clear, as he fills the morning air with his unique mellifluous song. Unless you have been to New Zealand, it is unlikely that you will have heard the call of a tui. When I hear it, I know I’m home.

I put my coffee mug on the ground at the side of George’s driveway, and walk along Te Toki Road towards Palm Beach. Every country has a Palm Beach, but ours is special to us. When we lived on the island Palm Beach was not our home, we lived at Rocky Bay. Every country has a Rocky Bay too, but again, ours is special. The road is properly sealed and has a white line in the centre, and we drive on the left. 

Palm Beach is within walking distance of George’s house and I go there to look at the sea. Even the shop isn’t open this early. Nobody is walking except me. Occasionally a car goes past. If I’m out here for long enough, the bus will come to take people to the ferry.

There is something about early morning, before anyone else is abroad, that can’t be matched at any other time. Once the sun is fully up, spreading its warmth and light into all the darkest corners, the atmosphere changes and the day starts. People intrude, and there’s nothing to equal people for spoiling a peaceful setting. 

The people who intrude are not really intruders of course. Many of them are friends from way back. I stop and chat with them, or slowly wend my way back to George’s in their company. I pick up my coffee mug and wander up George’s driveway to the house, and find the household is awake, the day has begun in earnest, and all the exciting reasons we are here on the island spring to mind.

This is yet another glorious holiday, and another glorious day, and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.


Tags: Nostalgia True Story



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Viewing 1 - 5 out of 5 Comments

05/12/2020 14:39:42

Thank you Jane, for this and your other nice comments. This particular blog was inspired by  the beautiful island where we lived for many years. 



05/12/2020 13:19:26

Your words serve as a wonderful paint brush for the scene you shared with us.  You have chosen well which has allowed each of us to see the picture and the experience through those words.  Thank you for sharing.  Wonderful.



05/11/2020 13:44:00

Thank you Mona and Cheryl for your nice comments.



05/11/2020 06:49:07

Reads as a Magical Moment in Time!

I was there  

~Smiles ~



05/10/2020 21:10:37

Wow! I will never have the pleasure to visit your country, but you have give a wonderful taste of your neighborhood. I would love it too ... I think! I would have to get used to getting up early again... !

Thanks for sharing your "word picture".





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