Yeah, I know it rhymes with jingle bells and sounds sorta made up, like something from ‘The Hobbit’, but Dingle Dell is an actual place.
What it is, is a bushland oasis, a sanctuary if you will, right in the midst of suburban Auckland ,and only five minutes from my home.
Decades ago a group of forward minded individuals planted out the difficult terrain in native tree species. Matured now, it is the thriving habitat of numerous endemic species.
I was there yesterday, on the last day of school holidays, with my daughter.
She couldn’t recall the place. Surely I had taken her there…hadn’t I ? Well, not for years , if so. Remiss of me. I mean, I could remember being taken there by my parents but….
Together we stood quietly as tui and fantails fed and preened in the bush canopy. No one else around. Special.
My learnings from the time amongst the trees, navigating the shaded, serpentine tracks were:
That we often take for granted what is very familiar to us; we need to spend a little more time in the quiet wonder of nature – it is humbling actually – and , god, time really does fly – the child becomes the parent and is the guide, not the guided, in a flash.
Oh, and magic is everywhere, not just in fantasy fiction…