Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Te Rerenga Wairua (January 19, 2010)

In New Zealand the stories associated with Cape Reinga are relatively well-known, as is its traditional Maori designation--the "leaping-off place of spirits", the last place where the immaterial remnants of the dead touch the soil of their land. At its point a pohutukawa tree, said to be 800 years old, clutches the rocks still.

I think the odd mists drifting over from the east side of the Cape are a reminder of those leaping spirits; to the west, these 'clouds' disappear and the bright sun beams down unfiltered on to the two blue-green oceans, Tasman and Pacific, where they converge in a line that you can imagine stitching almost invisibly back towards the curved edges at the horizon, all blue, all filled with the gigantic and ever-present sea. At your feet are cliffs that meet the ocean with thinly scrub-clad red volcanic soil, or pale sand.

I'd looked forward to visiting for a long time, and I felt I was well-rewarded.

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