I have been overwhelmed by best wishes for my birthday last Sunday. I thought I’d make a short post as a way of thanking all those who wished me well. Your thoughts and intentions are appreciated.

In a way my birthday started early with a joyful night of dancing and music at our monthly Ceili. It was, in fact, the fourth birthday of the Ceili (pronounced Kay-Lee) and because my birthday was the next day, I was asked to blow out the candles on the huge chocolate cake commemorating four years of Ceilis in Mangonui. The cake was covered with green icing in keeping with the St Patrick’s Day Theme.

Sunday (my actual birthday) I called dances for a mini-Ceili held outside in nearby Kerikeri for a group of Baha’i friends celebrating the Baha’i New Year after the end of their annual fasting time. It was just as well the fast was over because Lucia and I had brought along the half of the green-iced cake that hadn’t been eaten the night before.

Rainbow Falls Kerikeri

Next we had a lovely walk through a eucalyptus forest down to the Basin in Kerikeri before joining some other dear friends for an autumn equinox celebration. This involved simple song, dance, ritual and the sharing of home-grown and prepared food. Lucia and I were joined on the day by a New Zealand man who’s recently returned to his homeland after many years overseas running yoga retreat centres in Wales, Greece and beyond. It was lovely to share my birthday with a like-minded soul and new friend.

So, it was a great birthday spent doing the things I love—singing, dancing, walking, sharing… It doesn’t get better than this.

I, of course, received some birthday cards. The one from our eldest daughter touched me. It was a handmade card with a beautiful hibiscus flower on it. She wrote, ‘I hope you like the card; the hibiscus reminded me of you, as you always used to pick them and put them on my pillow.’ Our actions and intentions return to us. Lovely!

 

Kerikeri Basin

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

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Bay of Islands Aerial View

Lucia and I love to spend one day a week away from home hiking and generally enjoying ourselves in beautiful places. Yesterday was one such day. First we did the Rainbow Falls waterfall walk in Kerikeri. Kerikeri is a small town with a vibrant history.

The New Zealand Tui

Recently the vehicular traffic bridge was removed from the basin in Kerikeri where the river meets the sea. A beautiful suspension bridge was built, allowing only bicycles and foot traffic. It is amazing how much nicer this area feels now that cars aren’t driving through all the time. Now, instead of traffic noise, you hear only the sound of the birds, murmurings of conversations and the clicking of cameras (and the modern digital ones almost everyone uses make almost no sound). It reminds me of the improvement to the feeling at Niagara Falls, Ontario when cars were disallowed when I was growing up. It’s great to see people enjoying themselves while walking around.

Bay of Islands A Sailors Dream

We then went on to Paihia at the Bay of Islands, a popular destination for overseas visitors. The colossal cruise ship, The Queen Mary, had been anchored there the day before. We had another hike along the Waitangi River between Haruru Falls and the sea. It was lovely to share that walk with a few humans and the prolific New Zealand native birds such as fantails and tuis. Waitangi has a special place in my heart. Not only is it the cradle of the New Zealand nation where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed my Maori representatives and the British on February 6, 1840. It was also here, on January 1, 2000, that I became a New Zealand citizen, one of a small group of the world’s first new citizens in the New Millennia. It was a touching experience.

Waitangi Meeting House Where I Became a NZ Citizen

Now that our youngest daughter is 17 (and the only one still at home) the possibility of walking days has returned, just like we did when we were first together before the girls were born. It feels great to share in this way. And it is all within an hour’s drive of home. We are so lucky.

One of the Many Beautiful Beaches in the Bay of Islands

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Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.