Updated: Jul 3, 2021
This week I want to share a story from our trip to New Zealand. It is a story of magic and the unexplained. It was an event that shifted our holiday from a vacation to a journey and where we decided to go with the flow and enjoy the ride.
This story begins on a hot summer day in New Zealand, but not as hot as we are experiencing right now in Western Canada. We had just taken the ferry from the South Island to the North Island and had no idea where we were going to camp for the night. We had spent some time in Wellington on this sweaty Sunday summer day visiting the airconditioned Te Papa Museum and the hot Wellington waterfront but knew that we wanted to get out of the city before a new work week began.
We pulled out our camping guides and referenced Thomas's map he had on his phone. We were quite shocked at the price difference of the campgrounds on the North Island compared to the South and in a lot of cases, it was just basically a spot on a big field of grass. This was when the costs of traveling as a family of 5 really started getting real as the campgrounds that we were staying at charged per person and not just for the site. Granted, we chose to stay at Holiday Campgrounds that had kitchens, flushed toilets, hot showers, and a trampoline was a must.
There was a campground right near the beach that sounded so nice. It had availability but it would have cost $93NZ per night. I was not quite prepared to pay that amount of money for a camping spot. So, we looked for others even though I really liked the idea of being right by the ocean.
Back when we arrived in Christchurch, NZ I had purchased a Kiwi Holiday Park membership at the first campground we stayed at as it gave us discounts on any campgrounds that were affiliated with this membership and discounts at other attractions and adventures. It was a good investment.
So, we decided to look for a campground that was a Kiwi Holiday Park not too far of a drive from Wellington. There was one in the middle of a town called "Levin". It was nowhere near the water, however, the nagging voice in the back of my head kept saying "remember you are on a budget" which made me suggest to Thomas, we should at least check it out. (side note- RJ's Licorice you can buy here in Canada is made in Levin, NZ)
So, we pulled up to the campground and it was not the prettiest. It had some trees, but basically, you just picked a spot on the grass. I went and talked to the woman at the front desk and asked for the member's price. She said it was $60.00 per night. Ugh, still not the cheapest but I guess we had to accept that this would be our new normal. I hesitated but in the end, we decided it was one night and we should just stay. I went to pull out my membership card and I could not find it. I thought it was a little strange but did not think too much of it. We were losing things all of the time in the car, so I figured it was somewhere in our little Rent a Wreck Subaru where the side bumper was held up by duck tape.
I told the receptionist my card was missing. "No worries." She easily found my membership number in the computer system and checked us in.
We found a spot on the grass and set up our tent. While doing so, we started hearing a chorus of beautiful baritone voices. We wondered where this singing was coming from. Thomas walked towards the dining room and kitchen to follow the sound. He thought it sounded like a Swiss Men Singing Group. He returned and motioned for me to come with him. As we approached the dining hall, we saw a group of men with their eyes closed while singing. It was beautiful. One of the local campsite residents kindly motioned us to move away. He whispered to us that they were Fruit Pickers from Samoa and that they sing their prayers every evening after work before they make dinner. What an absolute gift for us to hear these men. Their singing eased into my being, and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of their voices.
Already, this campground seemed better.
As the girls played "Taxi Driver" in the car, Thomas and I went to the kitchen to prepare dinner and have a drink. There, we chatted with the local resident. He lived in the city but decided he wanted a quieter few months so decided to move to the campground, live simply, and meet people like us from all over the world while still going to work each day. I thought that was such a great idea. He had caught some local "pipi" (clams) and shared some with us as we chatted.
As I was sitting there drinking wine (I was on dish duty), the lady from the front desk came into the kitchen.
"There you are!" she said "Have I got a story for you".
I thought it was a little strange that she would have anything for me, including a story. Anyway, she went on: "I was just checking in a gentleman for the night. He handed me his membership card and there was a second one stuck to it. I asked him which one was his and he said the one with the name "So and So" on it. He said that he did not know where the other card came from. I looked at the name and said to him that I had a feeling I knew who owned it. I checked the computer and sure enough, it was your card!" I sat there completely confused. First, I hd not even bothered to search for my Kiwi Holiday Card because I had just assumed it was somewhere in our car. We usually unpacked and reorganize the car at least twice a day, so I figured it would show up eventually. Then, I started thinking how the heck did this guy have my card, and what were the chances that he would come to this tiny campground? I had no idea where he would have picked it up. I started going through my mental memory movie to try and remember when I had used the card last. I figured it was at the ferry terminal in Picton on the South Island the day before purchasing our tickets. So, I lost it somewhere between the South Island and the North Island. I smiled, said a "thank you" to the receptionist and a quiet "thank you" to whoever else was looking out for us, and came to the conclusion that this man was given an unknown mission to bring my Kiwi Holiday Card back to me. This made me so excited...I mean, I love this kind of stuff.
I felt like at that moment our holiday had shifted. We had a few rough days as we were into our 3rd week of traveling and we were all in need of some personal space. We got the "big family fight" out of our system earlier that day over some McDonald's French Fries which had been the tipping point.
To me, choosing this campground, hearing the singers, chatting with the local who shared his clams he had just gathered on the beach with us, and having my card magically show up by another guest made me realize that we were beginning a new flow. The flow I was looking for. Just allowing things to happen, enjoying the journey, and seeing what kind of magic would happen along the way. When you travel for an extensive amount of time there is a point where you shift from being in a vacation mode to just living in the moment. I love this feeling and it can be addictive once you have experienced it. I have been fortunate in my life to experience several journeys that lasted from a month to almost 6 months. However, coming home can be hard as you get back into the routine and there are many variables that can stop you from living in the flow. The key is to try and bring those feelings home and attempt even in small ways to be open to the magic in your everyday life.
Recognize that what you label as “coincidence” is actually the magic of being connected on a higher level. You think of someone and then a few minutes later you check your phone and they have texted you. You have a passing thought that you need some eggs, and later your friend shows up with a dozen of backyard fresh eggs from their chickens and said that they wanted to give you some. You suddenly start noticing these beautiful yellow butterflies and wish you could take a picture of one. Then one morning one of these beauties decides to take a break on one of your tables in the backyard long enough for you to capture the shot. Taking this sign to a deeper level you find the spiritual meaning of this yellow butterfly and discover that one message is of wishing you happiness and prosperity. This all happened in the last week for me. It's a constant game I love to be a part of.
I would like to share with you one more little story because I am on a roll about the magic that surrounds us.
I get excited when I find change on the ground. Maybe some of my friends think a little too much. That is because when I find change, it is one of my signs that shows me someone in heaven is thinking of me. The change reminds me that we are never alone. I began this many years ago when I was trying to figure out a way to bring a bit of spirituality into my girls’ life without preaching about it. Every time we would find a dime or even a penny on a walk or in the playground, I would point out that perhaps my Dad was thinking of us or my Gramma. I told them they were little signs from Heaven. It took a little while, but eventually, the girls caught on. They would come home from school sometimes and tell me about their day and how they found a quarter in the gym change room or a dime on their walk home. To this day they will always tell me when they find change along their path. I was grateful that I had introduced my girls to the magic of the "found change" before our dog Tonquin passed away. It was an awfully hard day for our whole family, and it was the first time the girls were facing the experience of a loved one they knew passing on. I wanted them to understand that Tonquin would always be with us but was not sure they would really understand. Tonquin had passed away in the afternoon on a Wednesday. The girls had a job delivering the local newspaper, and even though we were all sad, the job needed to be done. Riley and I set out to deliver the papers as I wanted to keep her company. Within a few minutes, we found our first dime. I said to her "Look, Tonquin is sending us a message that he is OK". This seemed to satisfy her and was grateful for the message. I quietly said a "thank you" to my connections above. The amazing thing is that we kept finding pennies. Pennies were hard to find as they had already been out of circulation for a little while. I had said to Riley "I think we are getting messages from all of our loved ones who have passed on that Tonquin is fine and that they will all take care of him". She really loved that explanation. In the end, we found 9 pennies and 1 dime "from Heaven". We were so excited to go home to show her sisters the change we had found and that Tonquin was going to be fine. We had tangible proof! I could not have asked for more.
Do you see change as a gift and message from heaven? Or maybe to you they mean something else? Perhaps they do not mean anything at all other than cold hard cash and it is not worth picking up. If you feel this way, I would highly recommend connecting found change to some kind of positive message. Maybe it could mean "that everything will be alright" or that it is a reminder that "we are all abundant and that abundance shows up in different ways". Honestly, when I find a nickel on my walk my heart jumps with happiness and I can't help but smile. These little things can mean so much and give you a moment of unexpected joy or even reassurance.
Have a beautiful day and keep your eyes open for the magic that is around you. Some other places you can find me
Facebook- Rikki N