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Matanui our New Zealand Home – Birgitta Walsh
Birgitta Walsh

Matanui our New Zealand Home


We parked next to the pier. I was accompanied by my daughter: Suzanne, granddaughter: Chanelle and Juergen and Dorle Hacker. We had come to place a small portion of Birgitta’s ashes in the water just in front of our Kerikeri home as she requested. A tall Pohutukawa (The New Zealand Christmas tree) stood as a silent sentinel guarding the pier and boat launching ramp slowly blossoming with it’s beautiful red flowers preparing for its Christmas glory. The pier, a disappointment, was run down and uncared for with dry rot, rotted boards and the connection to the raft gone. A sad sight. We made our way out onto the pier and Suzanne and Chanelle each placed a portion of Birgitta’s ashes in the water. A few tears were shed and our sadness soon replaced with the knowledge that she had again returned to a place she loved where in the tides that flow she will soon be traveling again to new unexplored places. She had come home to the place that, next to Sweden, she loved best.

We visited Matanui our past home. There was no one there so we walked around the grounds. I was saddened to see that the place was not as grand as when we lived there. The beautiful Wisteria which in December with its beautiful blooms that used to decorate the porch and provide a perfume to brighten up our day was gone. It was so prolific that the Candidas nested there and the shrill of they’re mating cry’s often kept us awake at night. The Rosemary hedge the scent of which took over the night in January and February was gone, lost forever. The orange trees were cut back and those that remained had no fruit I could see. The bananas looked sick. The Fig tree half its size with no fruit. The roses were gone replaced by a small structure where someone now lived. The vegetable garden looked good and the grapes will produce a fine crop this year. The hot tub with it’s beautiful view was totally uncared for and had not been used for a while. The magic of Matanui had faded and I had the thought that maybe the magic was not the place but my beautiful Contessa who put hours upon hours caring for the place before retiring to the hot tub for a relaxing drink. I thought how sad the new owners missed such an experience. The owners we had bought from who modified the place  and made it so beautiful had provided us with a jewel to build on. The person we sold to sold it later for half the value he paid me. Perhaps much of the magic was lost during that time.

It must have been the luck that had followed us throughout our lives together that made it such a special place in a life full of special places.  I call it luck but believe it is the attitude you have and the person you choose to share it with. With the right choices everything is possible. We together made the magic. The magic has faded but the luck persists. It has carried me to nearly all the places we lived and allowed me to meet most of my Love’s wishes. The journey continues….

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