Cape Reinga & Spirit’s Bay
My cousin Marit passed away tragically in 2013 due to blot clot complications caused by her birth control. As someone who always wanted to travel the world, Marit’s mother requested that friends and family honour Marit on their travels.
As I’m in New Zealand, I wanted to do something that would pay respects to Marit, her family, and connect with traditional NZ culture.
There is an extremely special place on the very tip of the North Island called, Cape Reinga or “Te Rerenga Wairua”. It’s the most northerly part of the country and where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet. In Maori, the name means the ‘leaping-off place of spirits.”
According to mythology, the spirits of those who have passed away travel to Cape Reinga on their journey to the afterlife. They are said to descend the roots of an ancient Pohutukawa tree on the cliff’s edge to return to their traditional homeland.
I went here and had a very special experience. I wanted to do something that was personal and a way for me to remember and connect with Marit. But I also wanted to share with her closest friends and family that she was honoured in traditional Maori fashion and her memory and spirit continues to travel.
Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane (The totara has fallen in the forest of Tane)
This proverb is said when someone of importance passes away. A totara is a giant native tree that grows for hundreds of years. For one of them to fall is a great tragedy.
Thinking of Marit and always of her family. Miss and love you so much!