Last night at Hopewell, five of us braved the cool sea and swam out into dark waters. Each person jumping off the jetty and giving a gasp or yelp as the crisp coldness enveloped our bodies. Soon the temperature was far from our minds as we marveled in the miracle of bioluminescent phytoplankton surrounding us. Their light activated in the movement made by our splashing and each person soon joined in a chorus of oohs and ahhs.
I made my way down the grassy path towards Wharariki Beach, over farmland and steep hilly pastures in the dark. The night sky shone with a brilliance rarely seen elsewhere, as the stars still glimmered overhead, free from any light pollution. There wasn’t a cloud to be seen and constellations reigned up above. You’ve never seen the night sky until you’ve come to New Zealand. I don’t know how many times I’ve stopped and stared at the show the stars put on when the sun has set.
Imagine if we all took our talents and applied them to a cause, something to make this world a better place. If we did something not for the glory and fame, not for the likes on social media, but to help others. I know a young woman doing just that.
I once saw a photo of Kura Tawhiti, or Castle Hill in New Zealand. A man walked between huge boulders at sunset with mountains fading into the light. The scene looked like something out of a dream. I decided then to make a special trip to see it while on the South Island.
The Catlins are an area of the southern most tip of New Zealand, a rolling mass of green hills, wetlands, waterfalls, forests and beaches that all are pressed by the wind. The wind is what brought me here, that and the affect it has on the trees. Combined together, they create some of the most beautiful scenes of my trip. Gusts of wind stretch the trees to their sides as if in a dance. Their bodies arc inland over years of breezes shaping their form.
Wanaka is the wind that whips through my hair It is the poplar leaves that dance in the light And the scent of pine that reminds me of home
Life could be a dream, sweetheart. I keep hearing those lyrics run through my mind while walking in Arrowtown, New Zealand. It’s a charming place nestled in the mountains that’s been kept historically intact from its gold mining days. White picket fences and an old time flair line the streets. Wandering down its sidewalks I’m reminded of home, and after several months in southeast Asia, it’s a welcome feeling. I feel a bit giddy being here, hence the song lyrics that make up today’s soundtrack.