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14 April 2012

Living near the sea

I love being near the ocean.  I always have.  I grew up near the ocean, and have lived near the ocean for large chunks of my life.  For the past 11 years, I have lived in the land locked state of Montana and have rarely gotten to see the ocean.  I moved there for a relationship, and it was well worth it on that score!  I was told that in Montana, "the sky is the ocean."  Montana has some lovely skies, beautiful mountains and a lot of  beauty in general.  But since being in New Zealand, especially being near the coast, I have realised how much I have missed it.  It's good for my soul.  The vastness, the sounds, the power, the seems it's all just part of my DNA somehow.

So, this post will be devoted to photos of the ocean.  Yesterday, I set out specifically to spend the day at the beach.  I ended up going to Dunedin, where there are some great beaches...a little bit on the commercial side, although nothing the likes of Rehobeth, Delaware or Ocean City, Maryland.  What I found was plenty of sand, waves, seagulls, surfers, runners, dogs, and people just walking up and down the beach enjoying the beautiful autumn day.  I did some running myself, realising how much I miss running on the beach.  I like to imagine what's on the other side of the ocean.  In this case, I guess it would be the southern part of South America.

The rest of this post will mainly be a photo album, basically me indulging my love for the sea.  If my readers enjoy it, all the better!

The first set are taken at St. Claire Beach, Dunedin


I love the juxtaposition of sandy beaches and rocky cliffs

Beautiful blue water


Some sort of pretty purple flowers

Another self portrait (the day got warmer!)

Lots of people enjoying the beach

The end of the beach and a tide pool

A sea kayaker

Pretty spot for wedding photos

The next set are taken at Bluff, on the southern tip of the South Island.  It's not quite as far south as New Zealand goes, though.  That would be Stewart Island, about 35 km further south.

That big thing on the righthand side is picture of a Right Whale

Toward sunset

Part of a Maori legend about an anchor and a big fish

 Because it seems appropriate, I am going to end with the "Benedicite Aotearoa", a special version of the "Song of Creation" for New Zealand (NZPB page 63)

O give thanks to our God who is good:  whose love endures forever.
You sun and moon, you starts of the southern sky:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
Sunrise and sunset, night and day:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
All mountains and valleys, grassland and scree, glacier, avalanche, mist and snow:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
You kauri and pine, rata and kowhai, mosses and ferns:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
Dolphins and kawawai, sealion and crab, coral, anemone, pipi and shrimp:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
Rabbits and cattle, moths and dogs, kiwi and sparrow and tui and hawk:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
You Maori and Pakeha, women and men, all who inhabit the long white cloud:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
All you saints and martyrs of the South Pacific:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
All prophets and priests, all cleaners and clerks, professors, shop workers, typist and teachers, job-seekers, invalids, drivers and doctors:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
All sweepers and diplomats, writers and artists, grocers, carpenters, students and stock-agents, seafarers, farmers, bakers and mystics:  give to our God your thanks and praise.
All children and infants, all people who play:  give to our God your thanks and praise.

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