Sunday, January 03, 2010

Day 8 - Kaitaia to Auckland

Morning finds me still in bed reluctant to get up simply because I’m still feeling tired but we have to checkout at 10 and there is another long drive ahead. A hot cup of tea and a cold shower revives me somewhat. Unfortunately, the motel has not kitchenette, so we cannot make any breakfast so after checking out I inquire about the breakfast facilities at the hotel only to be told that it was over at 9. Darn! However driving through town I find a cafe and having refueled myself to the full take to the road again :)

The weather is perfect for a long drive. It rains occasionally which helps to keep the heat down and the cloud cover reduces the harshness of the sunshine. The landscape is as usual beautiful. Rolling hills, cattle grazing in paddocks, pine trees glowing dark on the hills and occasionally we go through forests where trees, ferns and other vegetation grow thick and dense. Little one-lane bridges straddle streams and sometimes rivers and tiny ponds flash by. The colour as we drive southwards changes from brown to green. Fields of corn appear lush among the grassland and the hills as we drive further south get greener and greener. Through it all, A R Rehman and R D Burman compositions provide sing-along company.

B is an inveterate clock-watches. She checks the time meybe every 10 mins and I ask her if she has a train to catch :) She says she spent a lifetime working by the clock so now it has become a habit. But you are retired now, you can throw away your watch, at least take it off and put it in your handbag, I suggest, and enjoy the moment. She measures the distance covered and remaining and calculates the time that will be taken to reach our destination. I sigh in resignation. Maybe she needs to keep her mind busy.

Why this focus on the destination, I wonder. Destinations are like signposts, when we reach one, another one has taken its place. They keep moving and shifting through life and sometimes we focus so much on them that we forget to enjoy the journey. The final destination for the body is the grave, the mind gets lost in oblivion but the spirit knows no signposts nor time, it forever dwells in the present.

Even though the drive is long and sometimes arduous, I find myself enjoying it. Driving is like meditation sometimes, The mind goes into cruise control, the hands steer and the foot works the levers seemingly without any direction from the mind. Surely, there must be some deeper intelligence driving this whole mind-body thing that we become aware of at times like these.

We arrive at Auckland finally a lot later then B had calculated, mainly because of traffic. I tease her about that. So I’m spending the night at her place. No places to visit today, just the inner spaces of myself.