My mom has lived more lives than most – including the life of a jungle sprite. Until the ripe age of 19, my mom lived barefoot deep in The Valley with her boyfriend, Sundance, and her ferociously loyal (and tiny) dog named Bird (yes, apparently we have an affinity for naming our animals ‘Bird’). She spent her time between her little crooked shack on King’s Trail, nestled by Nenewe Falls, and the other half in a neighboring treehouse (5th photo below). And boy was she a firecracker. Don’t let her long blonde hair fool ya, my mom was one tough lil scrappa. Hiking to Waimanu, living off of river prawns, breadfruit and fish…swimming across rivers and building thrones out of rocks on the beach…this is where the wild things were, and she—the wildest of them all—was beaming with light. It’s no wonder these were some of the best years of her life.
As time moved on and paths veered left and right and up and down, my mom found herself in many new lives. But never did she forget about her time as a wild thing. She held these memories close to her heart and hoped The Valley would invite her back some day.
Thirty years later (where does time go?) I surprised my mum and told her the time has come! We are going to The Valley! Many emotions later (we're v emotional people) we were ready to go. My mom, my sisters and I (spilling with anticipation) soon found ourselves outer island in the bed of an old pickup truck descending deep into The Valley. As our view cleared and it finally came into sight, I could feel the overwhelming sigh from my mother, tears of joy as she laid eyes on The Valley (her heart) for the first time in many lives.
This is truly one of the most intimate, special moments I could ever share and I will hold it with me for as long as I can remember. It’s rare to be able to visit a past life, but that’s exactly what my mum was able to do.
These photos are just glimpses into the memories that my mom was able to relive and share with her daughters. All shot on 35mm film.