Dear Yoga friends,
This note was written by Martha Marcom, a beloved founding partner of Yoga on High, to family and a few friends but it was too good to hear from her and not share it. She knows you are reading it and sends her love to all of you as well.
As I write this, we are just halfway through this world cruise—time to check in with my far away much-missed friends and family. This midway point comes as we are directly across the Earth in both time and distance—as far as we can be away from you. But now, as we leave Australia, we will come closer in time-zones and space. We are heading home.
I have had a miraculous journey so far. I arrived as a 90 pound weakling. Literally, even my shoes were too big. Empty bags of flesh hanging off of my bones, where my muscles used to be. I had to embark in January using a wheelchair, and now I am getting back to strong and up to 104. I offer humble thanks to my patient, determined, caring dear husband, who has shepherded me through this healing journey. We have been practicing yoga every morning at 5:30am on the dance floor of the ballroom, where we have a beautiful view of the day dawning. 5:30 is what it takes to get through a full ashtanga practice at a somewhat leisurely pace and be finished before Maria, the official yoga teacher, arrives to set up for her 8a class. It has taken all of this time to get back to the full circle of poses. Maria’s husband, Joe, is now joining us. This couple ,the Kitas, from PA, have been traveling the world teaching yoga for many winters now. So, to arise at 5, we have not been going to any of the evening entertainment or nightlife. Those mornings on the mat have been big medicine and I am so grateful to reclaim my yoga practice—and breath. And muscles.
We had weeks and weeks of just eating reading and resting and working back to the practice. I didn’t have the strength/endurance to really go ashore. It was in New Zealand that I really came back. It helped that my lovely sister, Connie, and bro-in-law Buzz arrived for this part of the journey and also that NZ is arguably the most beautiful place on Earth.
We began our NZ adventure with a hastily scheduled, unanticipated stop at the Bay of Islands when we could not tender into the inviting but rough waters of Roatonga, a magical-looking island—think Neverland—where we were planning a beach day in the turquoise waters, sugar white sands with a green volcanic mountain as the background. But, as everything is subject to change, off we went to the town of Paihia, NZ.
We’d met a lovely friend, Marc, from the Bay area of SF, with whom we’d planned an overland, overnight trip to the Bay of Islands before we (or anyone) knew about this impromptu add-on to our NZ itinerary. So we ended up going two times to the Bay of Islands, once by sea and the other by land. New Zealand is heart-stopingly, breathtakingly beautiful. The terrain is both lush and rugged and the land is an array of greens, and the sea is pinch-me, I’m-in-a dream aqua..with gorgeous mountains and islands.
We bought maps for the overland trip, had local beer at a cafe and explored a market. The next day Marc drove us out of Aukland in our rental Corolla—Marc figured that driving once in Great Britain in the ’80’s qualified him to drive on the “wrong” side of the road in the big city of Aukland and on the windy, mountainous two-lane roads. As wondrous as it is sailing along on the sea day after day,getting inside the country by land was a welcome change. There was constant beauty--no billboards and such flora as fern trees, occasional terraced hillsides, a legacy of the Maori. We took a ferry to Russell, a picture perfect old seaside town. Back in Paihia, where we spent the night at a hillside motel, we had fresh blueberry ice cream from a farmers market.
Our first impression of New Zealanders is that everyone is happy and friendly and loves their beautiful country. That didn’t change much as we traveled North to South.
I’ve only said a little about our travels but I’m longing to send this off and reach you while we have an internet connection. I will try again soon. Know that Jerry and I are thinking of you, would love to hear from you and look forward to seeing you again.
All love and every good wish,