I’ve just come back from four days down at Waihi beach, where the family has had an old bach for 50 yrs or so. It is on the East coast of the North Island, in a region aptly named the Bay of Plenty. I have walked the long stretch of these sands, with my feet in the sea, contemplating life for decades – it’s the one place I return to when I am needing space, and to get away and think for a while.
I find it remarkable how refreshing it is to just sit or walk, gazing out to sea, with that rhythm of waves reminding me of the endless progression of time, and a hint of eternity in the distant edge of ocean and sky. It seems never to change, whereas I am very different to the teenager who strolled along in the shoreline airing my hopes and dreams. I’m less self-absorbed than I was then, so do not send a lament out across the surf laden with weighty pleas. These days I’m content to let it all wash over me – reflecting on what a rich life I am enjoying, and what a pleasure it is to be immersed for a while in this huge splendour.
Of course, there are the occasional treats away from the sea:
A cycle down to the shops and cafes, where I sometimes meet with a friend. But these are but moments in a long stretch of simply basking in the joy of a uncluttered day spent mostly reading, sometimes eating, often swimming, and finally sleeping. My photos from last week tell it all: