Adventures of the Soul, Part Two: New Zealand Dream
Prior to meeting Kati, the writer lived a fairly normal life. He lived in the same apartment in Atlanta for eighteen years, had jobs, and even wore a necktie at times.
In 2000, everything changed. When his longing to live his true nature grew sufficiently, he left his comfort zone and false security and met his life partner in a story of prophecy fulfilled.
Part One of this hitchhiking saga recounts the move of the writer and his partner from Spain to America and across the country. From the west coast they flew to Kauai, a story told in How Does it Feel to Live in the Present Moment?
After nearly three years, the traveling couple would soon complete their last job on the Hawaiian islands - painting a kitchen. Winter was just around the corner. Paintbrushes in hand, they talked about camping for three months in New Zealand and hitchhiking through the country.
On a Wing and a Poem
Following a creative idea, the writer wrote a poem and printed it on cards to give to their prospective rides. To understand the poem, it is well to know these facts:
Pastoral scenes of New Zealand with sheep grazing on lush grass and back-dropped by spectacular mountains, had for many years inspired the writer's dream to be there.
Woolly sheep far out-number the human population on the islands.
The people of New Zealand call themselves Kiwis, not for the green fruit with brown fuzzy skin, but for the bird which is a national symbol and whose shyness and nocturnal habits make it hard to know.
The indigenous Polynesian people, the Māori, share their Aotearoa with a European population. Elizabeth II, as the Queen of New Zealand, is the Head of State.
Peter Jackson’s vision of the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy was photographed in New Zealand. When it showed in theaters, the writer's longing to visit “The Land of the Long White Cloud” was renewed. Frodo and Sam are characters in the story.
So, when their time on Hawai’i was complete and they were ready for a new adventure, New Zealand was the natural destination for the writer and his partner.
The guide books suggested making the trip with no less than one thousand dollars per person per month. They would go for three months and had three hundred dollars between them upon arrival. It was the perfect opportunity to test their idea of carrying all they owned in backpacks like self-contained turtles and hitchhike for transportation. They would give this poem to people who stopped for them:
New Zealand Dream
From days of youth I dreamed to be,
In the land of the Kiwi,
Where woolly sheep are more than men,
And magic dwells in forest glen,
Where ancient Polynesian pride,
And English tea live side by side,
Where Frodo found true friend in Sam,
And in New Zealand now I am.
The couple landed at Auckland International Airport on January 1, 2005. Somewhat dazed and hefting huge backpacks, they had just walked to the first round-about when a female driver by herself called out, “Do you want a ride?”
They hadn’t even lifted their thumbs!
At their grateful acceptance, she carried the couple to a camp site and was pleased to receive a card with the writer's poem.
Another unsolicited ride came from a woman police officer who saw that the travelers seemed uncertain as they stood looking at road signs. When she heard their story, she said, “Well, normally I am on my way to a meeting in Rotorua. But give me a moment and I will take you where you are headed.” She canceled her meeting and carried the couple out of her way. She put the poem card on her dashboard.
That was just after a ride which had a shaky beginning. The couple had come from a camp site in the morning and was resting from their heavy loads alongside a fence in front of a house. They heard a small dog yapping in the house and saw what looked to be a black Poodle inside. A car on the street slowed and the driver said, “Watch out for the dog. He’s quite mean.”
The writer asked, a little confused, “Are you talking about the Poodle?”
“No,” he responded, “I’m talking about the Rottweiler. He’s in the back yard. He doesn’t like intruders. It’s best if you move along.”
The couple had no intention of lingering. Rather than engage, they thanked him and waved.
They'd walked a few hundred yards when the car came back. The driver asked if he could give them a ride. They accepted and got into a conversation. The Kiwis began to warm to the travelers. The writer asked the driver, “What was that all about, with the Rottweiler?”
He admitted that he’d made it up. The house belonged to a relative who was away, and he was trying to protect it from intrusion. He said he gave the couple a ride to make sure they did move along. But once they got to know the travelers some, they relaxed and all four were laughing together. The Kiwis were delighted with the poem of New Zealand and accepted it as a treasured keepsake.
Adventures of the Soul
Part One tells of the writer's return to America from Spain with his partner and their hitchhiking to northern Georgia. In the wee hours of the morning, four Georgia sheriffs relayed the couple across county lines to their destination.
Part Two tells the beginning of the writer's odyssey in New Zealand with his partner as people stop spontaneously to give the couple rides from Auckland to Wellington and receive gifts of insight and a poem.
Part Three continues the writer's journey in New Zealand with his partner as they are given remarkable rides to Christchurch and Queenstown, with marvelously magic moments and life lessons on the way.
Part Four concludes the hitchhiking saga with the story of a ride given to a man who had left his troubled life for a new beginning. The writer gave the hundred mile ride in a mountain snowstorm and lived to reflect on it.