Generations and constancy

I wonder if you have a familiar spot that you stop at whenever you are traveling to a certain destination.

We do. For almost 40 years we have traveled frequently to and from Hawkes Bay to visit family.

I am not sure how we learnt about the Deer Park in Dannevirke but it is the spot that we stop at regularly on the trip between Wellington and Hawkes Bay. It is correctly named the Dannevirke Holiday Park which incorporates wildlife areas, including the Deer Park.

Deer Park Dannevirke, New Zealand

Over the time we and other family members have stopped at this scenic spot to have a picnic lunch, a cup of tea and to stretch cramped legs, very little, if anything about this location has changed. And nothing needs to be changed.

There are the deer enclosures, lovely shady trees, shelter from the prevailing winds, a lake, a large bird aviary full of noisy and colourful birds to enjoy and flocks of hungry ducks and guinea fowl to feed…..or fend off the food you are eating!

The park is off the main highway, so offers a safe and restful place to refresh, stretch and take time away from long distance driving and travel.

On our holiday last week we stopped for lunch at the Deer Park on our trip up to Hawkes Bay and on the return journey. While we were there I thought about how my parents had stopped on similar journeys with their grandchildren and how those grandchildren are adults now and remember this spot fondly.

Gran and grandson at the Deer Park, January 1985

I also laughed about our status as grandparents now and although our grandson was not with us I could just picture him running after the ducks, feeding them bits of his lunch, wondering about and enjoying the birds in the aviary, exploring the bridge over the lake and watching and learning about deer, just as his Dad, Aunty and Uncle all did in earlier years.

So for me last week there was a sense of time and people passing, new roles undertaken contrasted with timelessness and constancy.

I’d be interested in knowing about your familiar spot that is a part of the broader weave of your family.

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