Roger, the sweet architect whose home we stayed in while in Rotorua, laughed as I stopped to gaze at the yellow flowers that passed as we ran through the fern forest, contemplating if they were too rare to steal.
“They’re weeds! Nothing but weeds!”
He was right, those strands of yellow covered highways and fields and crept up between cement blocks all through North Island. As I pushed up through low chatarunga into downward facing dog in some field next to an abandoned van a few days later, half terrified I was about to get murdered and half exhilarated by the sounds of birds and still and the coolness that comes at dusk on a spring day, I met those flowers again, and burst into tears. For the first time in a long time there wasn’t a hint of sadness to those tears. It was a pure and unadulterated whimsy. Life. Wonder. Joy. I felt entirely human. Broken and dazed and full of reverence for the baroque, untouched forest I found myself in.
I will travel this entire earth and my eyes will always find the weeds intricate sacred treasures.
Our eyes grow weary of the ordinary, and anything can become ordinary if we let it.
Travel has the ability to not only reveal to us forests filled with completely new species of flora and fauna, stunning mountain formations, and languages made of entirely different symbols, it gives us better perspective into the beauty of the places we come from.