TANIKA SMITH WHEATLEY
When I was a child, I would wake up in the night because of nightmares. As time went on, I realized that I was looking forward to my dreams. Now, I write them, among other stories as well.....
I have heard others speak of ‘their purpose in life’ – up until this dream, I had never known mine… READY A chill went down my spine. I opened my eyes and peered in the darkness. He was there. Still the same, he had not aged, not too tall, but muscular. Still medium sized, but powerful looking. Still strikingly handsome, but as always, unsmiling - his usual unhappy demeanor - almost scowling. Always making me wonder what I have done, or am not doing more likely, to displease him so.
DIFFERENT A PAST LIFE I was sitting on the beach, as always, watching other children playing – running around, in and out of the wet area, trying not to get caught by the incoming waves, and laughing if they did so. They never invited me to join them. I knew that there was something different about me, I wasn’t sure what it was, just that there was something about me that they did not like – over the years, I got used to it, being different, being alone, the watcher – still, one learned a lot, just by watching…
On the Wings of Birds
AFTER Hinewai was packing, Tania helping, both feeling so excited at the thought of returning to their lives on the other side of the desert and lake, and Kahu – it took awhile, but Kahu had built a new village – not out of the ruins, but closer to the great Lake Taupo, amidst even more precarious, volcanic steaming eruptions – his people were used to the rumbles and the continual thermal activity, they knew where to build and where not to, they knew where to step and where not to, they knew when to get into hot springs and recognized the signs and knew when to get out, before the water reached boiling point, they knew which areas to avoid, and which areas were calmer than they appeared to be. Even the horses knew which areas were dangerous and which were not, so long had the Te Arawa lived in the wild terrain. Rebuilding and helping what was left of his people had kept him too busy to feel too lonely, except when he retired for the night, when he was so tired that the fleeting thoughts of missing his wife barely began before he was snoring, and his dreams were always the same…
On the Wings of Birds
The escape Hinewai was sitting on a rocky plateau watching the wondrous geyser activity that seemed to spread out in all directions as far as the eyes could see, surrounding her with hissing mist, at her new home. How she’d wished that she had thought to bring one of the many bird totems with her – it would have looked like a shining Manaian symbol among the Te Arawa ethereal misty lands. She hadn’t realized how much time she’d spent praying to those totems, back home. She hadn’t realized how little she had bought with her – travel light, she’d instructed everyone, we will get new things at Te Arawa – too late, she realized just how precious some things were, like the totems that she had taken for granted, at Manaia. She supposed she couldn’t ask for any to be made, especially now, when these people were changing, becoming like the Pakeha, and worshipping their Gods – or God – apparently, they only had one, although they also prayed to his son’s mother, Mary…
On the Wings of Birds
BEFORE I believe it is all her fault, my ambitious, grandmother’s fault. With some regret, I blame her. I remember the first time I saw her. Still youthful; and still beautiful. And frivolous, flippant, and flirtatious. Even as a small child I thought so; yet I wanted her to be proud of me none-the-less – and although the life she had planned for me was extremely different to what I had dreamed of at the time, she made me believe I was just like her, courageous and confident, rather than the quiet, shy girl I really was. She made the quiet, gentle ways of my sweet mother seem somehow weak and feeble. She had an infectious laugh and exciting way about her that contagiously swept everyone away with her enthusiasm until too late, we’re all doing what she wants, living the life she has in mind for us – even my conquering father, my sweet mother, and my lovely sisters – such power, such control – even with the great sea between us - yet – if we all had a second chance at it, we’d all do it exactly the same, all over again – simply because – she was right…………..(mused Whiu Hinehoe A’Tane - called Hinewai)