When I was much shorter than I am now, and still living in the same house as my biological family, and when I was called a child by most who were at that time called adults, we lived very close to an amusement park.
The park was quite impressive and had huge roller coasters. There was one giant old wooden coaster called ‘The Bush Beast’. It looked hand made and rattled and rolled and shook you to the core as gravity wound you along the track. Sometimes there was even a sense that the small carriage would lift off of the track and fly unstoppably into the free whipping air.
There were times when we would go to the amusement park in the off season. These were surreal times when it seemed like we were the only people there. During these times, we would climb into the roller coaster and ride it continuously for hours. Each time the train pulled back into the station, we would nod to the operator, who would send us around the track again.
We always screamed the most on the first lap. The second lap was still quite thrilling, but less surprising. The third lap usually involved us pulling silly faces at the moment when a camera was supposed to take our pictures. By the fourth lap, things were calming down.
Sometime around the twentieth lap of the roller coaster, we would have our arms casually resting on the sides of the carriage as if we were out for a morning walk. By this time we would be talking about school or small adventures and almost completely oblivious to the giant hills and turns that had been designed to scare us out of minds and back into our adrenalin filled sack of skin.
Our bodies were being rocked and massaged against the metal carriages and our hair eventually became fixed back as if we had stood in front of a giant hair-dryer for hours. The rumbling sound of the roller coaster rolled through our bodies in deliberate rhythmic thuds and screeches. The skin on our faces was slightly shiny and we had a quiet-dazed look in our eyes. Our skin was rubbed smooth by the flapping of our clothes in the wind.
We were flying.
Eventually either the operator would become bored or the park would have to close. We would step out of our space-ship-magic-train and onto the platform of the station. Our feet would touch the ground as if we had been at sea for many months. The unfamiliar stillness of the ground would be in contrast to the fluid intuition of our knees. There was always this moment of landing - a moment of quietness and of a slow reassessment - a kind of integration. The emptiness and physical potential of the amusement park would watch us quietly as we slowly meandered back towards the parking lot where our parents would be waiting.
That evening, at back at home, life would appear to be just the same as it always was. As far as we were concerned, all that had happened was that we had been out for the day and played on some giant complicated toys. We would eat dinner and, eventually, calm down enough to go to bed.
It was at that moment that I always noticed a difference.
Lying in bed, long after the last lap of the roller coaster, I would close my eyes and snuggle into the mattress. In the stillness of this cocoon, I would suddenly become aware of the movement-memory in my body. My body was still on the roller coaster. I could feel in intimate detail, every corner, hill and rise. It seemed as if my body had been charged up like a battery and was now slowly leaking its memory of sound and movement back out and into my dream world. I loved these moments. By morning the sensations would have become so faint as to no longer draw my attention and my child-mind would have moved on to other adventures and other fascinations.
And now, as a person who is taller, and usually called an ‘adult’, I have just returned home from another special roller coaster.
The ‘Big Ka Huna Roller Coaster’ turned out to be much bigger than it looked from the outside. What was it that drew me in and gave me the hunch that this ride was one to try? What part of me knew that this was the medicine I needed?
Unlike the old wooden roller coaster...the baggage that I carried on board the Ka Huna Coaster was much heavier (I had even forgotten that I was carrying some of it) - but plenty of that fell over the side and I probably won’t need to pick it up.
The designers of this Ka Huna Coster were very wise and they nuanced the ride with all kinds of variations and detail. Each lap had a sense of the familiar and the new, the challenging and the safe, the known and the unknown.
On this ride the soul-massage was total. My body, emotions, ideas, and essence were all a part of the journey and were all delighted in different but complementary ways.
… And Now I am back in the place that I usually call home. I am snuggled into my bed. The night is wrapped around me like a blanket and the house is making creaking noises.
My body is still. Probably more still than I can remember it being in recent years. I feel warm and I feel safe.
Just like with the roller coaster though, I start to notice a distinct rocking feeling in my body. I can feel skin sliding over the surface of my hands. I can feel the firm-tender sense of a body rocking under my weight. I can feel my wings rocking outwards in the duck-dance. I can feel someones hand running through my hair. My skin is tingling.
I am floating in an ocean of love, riding the roller-coaster waves of ka huna.