As I sit here, in my family's cabin in the Orongorongo Valley; listening to the rain and the only AM radio channel I can stand; I realise that in many ways, I was fated to write. Pictures on the walls of the cabin show flooded rivers and a white Land Rover driving off a section of riverbed, nose disappearing under the white capped, brown torrent of water. I remember that time and feel an instant thrill of adrenaline and pride. That's our white Land Rover, and my dad driving. It was a bank to banker that weekend; which means the Valley flooded to the point that the water ran from one side to the other. We couldn't reach our cabin that weekend and had to stay at our friends' cabin. It felt like such an adventure.
There have been so many adventures up here. Some little, some huge, but all exciting and all inspiring as I watched my parents leap into action. Calm, controlled and ready to act. So many times that I felt a fierce pride in them both. They acted when others stood by, gaping, unsure of what to do. They seemed like the ultimate action heroes to me, as a child with an enormous imagination.
Even now, the sound of the rain on the tin roof of the cabin, gives me a thrill. Because at certain times of the year, rain on the roof on the day you intend to go out can spell a longer stay at the cabin, due to flooding. There is no electricity here, no way of telling anyone you're stuck. You just warn them before you leave that if you don't come out it's probably due to flooding.
But in reality it could be any number of reasons. It's a two hour trek to any form of civilisation here and even then, no guarantee that you'll find someone. I know, right now as I type this at the old battered farm-style table, that if it's raining at home Glenn will be anxiously watching the skies.
Hoping I can get out, debating what to do if I can't.
It's silly really. There's nothing you can do if someone is stuck, but you still want to try. I remember, vividly, one of the first times I bought Glenn up here. It hosed down and we quickly realised we were going to be stuck for a few extra days. On the second extra night of our stay, we were playing cards when heavy footsteps sounded on the veranda. Glenn and I exchanged a confused look, especially as a glance at the clock revealed it was after 10pm.
'Nicky,' Glenn said with a bemused frown. 'It's either an axe-murderer or your father.'
It was Dad (well either that or I've killed and buried an axe-murdered up there... I'll leave you to decide *mwahahaha*).
'Your mum was really worried!' Was Dad's explanation when we both shook our heads at him. When I questioned Mum, when we eventually got out the next day (exciting river crossings – deep and swift! Made me very glad to have Dad on one side and Glenn on the other), she smirked at me.
'I was not! I knew you would be fine and get out eventually. Your dad, however, couldn't sit still once the rain started. Had to go check on his baby girl.'
It made Glenn laugh when I told him once we got home. Truth be told, as cynical as my mother likes to pretend to be, it was just as likely her idea as his...
Parents–doesn't matter how old your kids get, you'll always worry!
With so many rich, exciting times to reflect on, as well as a place like this cabin; which I just wish I could really show you; it's all a recipe for writing. And I love it. If you're reading this on Sunday night (or Saturday eve for those in the Northern Hemisphere) then I got out fine *grin* And I promise I got actual writing, for Feel the Burn, done too! Hope you all had/have a great weekend.
Take care all!
The Arrival, available for free right here on this blog!