Tuesday Morning, N Zed

The conference ended Sunday, so yesterday was play day. We all piled into cars and drove over to the west side of the Island (where, I was informed, “Westies” live. These strange creatures allegedly dress all in black and have their own subculture which decent Aucklanders look askance at.) We took up temporary residence in a “bach” (pronounced “batch”) and used it as home base to explore the beach at Karekare (“carey carey, emphasis on the first CARey). Any of you who saw “The Piano” will know the beach because that’s where they shot part of the film. Lovely, huge flat expanse of sand with surf stretching all the way to Australia. I splashed along in the warmish Tasman Sea and just let the sea breeze blow through my soul for a while. Very healing. Something in the soul says, “You should come back here. Or else go on to the heaven it all points to.”

Stumped back through palms, purple flowers, Norfolk pines, Scotch broom, and myriad strange birds to the bach to find that our den mother had made us a lovely salad lunch. Munched for a time and told amusing stories to each other, then took another walk down to a nearby waterfall in a gorgeous secluded glade.

Have I mentioned life is good? Thanks be to God.

Eventually, we made our way back to Auckland, safely navigating the traffic of an entire nation of people who all drive on the wrong side of the road. Had dinner that evening and then went off to Mass and a listening session sponsored by the Eucharistic Convention organizers, who are trying to see the numbers increase and the people better served. All in all, a swell day.

Now, to breakfast, and then to a friend’s house in Pukekohe, followed by various speaking gigs around the North Island. I’ll write again when I can.