Monday, August 25, 2014
Saturday 23 August 2014. Brando Wildboy Yelavich Becomes The First Person To Walk The Entire New Zealand Coastline...
He'd left there exactly six hundred days earlier.
Brando had climbed his Everest and strode into the history books and the country's folklore becoming, on Saturday August 23 at 3.45pm, the first person to ever walk the entire coastline of New Zealand.
He had walked the talk.
He had dreamed it and he had done it.
And as we watched, instead of coming up the hill, he raced down the steep sandy slope, took off his pack and clothes and ran into the embrace of The Tasman Sea that had looked after him and fed him on his way south all those days ago. Then, to our cheering, he made his way up the final slope towards us.
My young friend had invited me to spend his last night before the final few kilometers with him at Tapotupotu Bay, just to the east of Cape Reinga. There was no way The Flying Tortoise wasn't going to be there.
A film crew were there too, making a doco about Wildboy for the New Zealand ADHD Association on how he'd quieted his demons and resolved the issues surrounding ADHD and his Dyslexia. They pall into insignificance now.
Throughout his journey his words and deeds inspired many thousands of young and not so young children with similar issues.
And those without any.
I arrived at Cape Reinga at the northern tip of Aotearoa New Zealand, The Land Of The Long White Cloud. My country. And couldn't stop the tears from flowing.
I knew it was a spiritual place but I wasn't ready for the strength of emotions and the profound affect actually being there would evoke in me.
If I didn't know better I would swear I had Maori ancestry. And I would be proud to.
The Cape is a place where The Tasman Sea
and The Pacific Ocean meet, their respective currents doing battle and causing much turmoil for seafarers.
Many were the reasons for tears of joy to flow on Saturday and flow they did. It was an emotional homecoming for the boy who left there all those days and experiences ago. While the crowd of well wishers watched, they realised the wayward boy had become a wonderful, confident, personable and articulate young man.
His parents Todd and Donella, his sister Brooke, his Grandparents, his Uncles and Aunts his girlfriend Ngaio, all of us there and those who couldn't be, have cause to be immensely
proud of Brando.
There were people there, and many too who weren't, who've been proud to met Brando on his walk and think about him as being the son they'd have liked to have had, but never did.
I am one of them...