Kotiti – To go astray, stray, deviate, go off course, digress, get sidetracked

Over summer I went on a River cruise down the Matakana River. The boat was named Kotiti after the meandering of the river outlets in the region. Rivers which had forged their own paths and weaved around the landscape to their own rhythm.

We can all have our plans, our dreams for our life. But life is not as structured or as rigid as the Panama canal is for example. The Canal is controlled. Clear entry and timings. Everything engineered to perfection to enable a fast and smooth transition from the waters of the Atlantic to the waters of the Pacific.

Life is no Panama Canal, it is really kotiti, a river that goes off course and deviates from the straight path. The challenge is, how do we adapt to these changes, to the unexpected that takes us seemingly off course? As we discovered during our river tour, the unexpected has treasures ready to be discovered. The delight of seeing the tree house secreted amongst the trees by the river’s edge, the jumping fish. The architecture of the houses nestled on the peninsular that are unseen from the road. There was much beauty to enjoy.

When my son was born with down syndrome, my life took an unexpected and unplanned turn. In my mind kotiti had occurred in my life. But what I have found is great beauty in this path. The cuddles, his capacity for love. His empathy and concern when anyone is sad. The sweetness of his smile with his beautiful almond shaped eyes and the joy that I get to experience everyday. 

When you find life has taken you in an unexpected direction, look out for the treasures to be discovered. They are there.

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.’ (Proverbs 16:9)