I smell exhaust and greasy fish’n’chips wrappers.
I feel the hard concrete beneath my feet and the cold walls of tall buildings.
I see grey roads stretching off into the distance,
litter lining the street gutters,
and buildings blocking the horizon.
Then I went to Kapiti Island.
I hear the whirr of the stitchbird’s wings, the breeze rustling in the trees and the symphony of birdsong.
I smell the fresh air and the salty breeze by the shore.
I feel the kaka’s sharp claws as it lands on my shoulder and the muddy earth sliding beneath my feet.
I see green growing everywhere,
vines tangling themselves up in trees,
a sneaky weka stealing a banana,
and shining paua shells washed up on the shore.
This is what Aotearoa would have once been like.
It’s only by making connections with our land now that is going to make us care enough to save it for the future.