I remember as a small child sitting at the book chest with my sister and trying to read mum and dad’s books. Our favourites to bring out were the big book of crude jokes, St Johns First aid manual circa. 1990 (especially the instructions on how to deliver a baby and the assisting, very poorly drawn, black and white pictures), and mums old fortune telling book.
The fortune telling book is about magazine sized, with a square spine and natural sepia tones paper pages. It has that distinct ‘old book’ smell to it, I love that smell, it triggers so many memories from this life through many others and offers you a big warm hug of happiness.
I never knew what had happened to the book after moving several times I assumed it had just left us. Then i get a txt from my sister telling me she had sent me some books and this was one of them. The first memory I had was 2 girls of 6 and 11, looking at all our moles on our arms and legs and looking up their interpretation. This book offered me sense of mystery and wonder throughout my childhood.
I am really looking forward to reconnecting with my old friend and getting to know one another once again.
I can not recall a time in my life when I was a “non-believer”. I experienced death at a young age. I say this rather than “near death experience” because I wasn’t near death, I was dead.
My family lived for a short time in the North Hokianga in the far north of New Zealand. The house that we rented was on a farm that had originally been a block of small holdings own by Maori. When the Maori had been forced off the land it had been cursed by one of the Kuia that lived there in that no man should thrive while he was there and their children would suffer, or so it was told to me.
My family did not thrive here at all, there were a series of misfortunate events that played out during our time here. My drowning was one of them.
It was a traumatic experience for my whole family, I won’t go into huge detail but my mum found my lifeless body floating face down in one of our underground water tanks that I had fallen in to, I had been in the cold water for about 10 minutes, while she searched our entire section for me. I was without a pulse and dead in the face. lifeless. But a mother’s love is the strongest force and she fought with the gods to keep me and by a miracle she was able to resuscitate me and I was not left with any permanent damage.
I have heard the story several times, every time it amazes me but now that I am a mother myself it has become quite an emotional and traumatic story, because now I can feel the emotion my mother had felt that day almost losing her baby and understand the rawness of the situation.
20 years later I returned to the village to visit and met briefly with one of the elders who had been a close friend of my fathers during our time there and had always kept an eye on my family. He was also the one who told my parents about the history of the land we lived one, and the ladys curse. He looked at me that day as if I was a ghost, I was standing with my sister and the first question he asked was “which one of you two was it that drowned?” at the time I was quite light-hearted about it, maybe I was nervous because it was actually quite uncomfortable as he looked straight through me, and said “Boy, your bloody lucky girl!” I didn’t know what to say “I know Uncle” I said trying to reassure him “NO!” he said sternly “I don’t think you realise how lucky you are to be living!” but since then it has played on my mind over and over and I wish I could go back to that day and actually discuss it with him properly. Because I do know, and I do believe and I am thankful every day to be alive.
This was my first experience of death, my first encounter with prayer, my first encounter with magick, my first encounter with the power of a curse and the power of love. And the moment in time I believe a path of spiritual exploration was laid for me to follow.
I remember a time when I thought I knew everything… Had everything and everyone figured out. Now I feel like a small child slightly afraid to put my hand up in case I get the answer wrong and find myself ridiculed by the entire class… Maybe this time, I will be brave enough to shout it out and not give a toss what other people say or think about me.
I told my 7-year-old son last weekend to come up with some goals for the year, just a few little things, easy for him to achieve on his own. One thing we spoke about was being better at being yourself, I am the worst example, but we decided to work on it together. I hate seeing him so concerned about what other kids will think about him what they might say, blah blah blah… Then I realised hey hang on a minute I do EXACTLY the same thing, so afraid of ridicule.
this year my family’s goal is to find ourselves again.. all of us on our own individual journeys, together. We will help each other to discover hidden parts of ourselves that have been silenced over the years, try new things that we have long spoken about, and push ourselves out of our comfort zones.
So who am I?
I am Firstly a mother and then a wife, I am a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a friend. I am a pagan, I am a student, I am a queen, I am a dreamer.