Along the Waimakariri looking for something to shoot on a warm day in the middle of the day. They are digging there for rocks and this leaves puddles and gaps in the banks that fill up with water. I was actually amazed the play of colors and lines in blue and grey right in front of me.
All it took was taking out distracting colors and for the rest let the remaining colors and lines do the work. Simple!
It has not been the most productive year in terms of blog posts. So instead I will look back at the past year with some favorites, while I have started uploading more extensive collections to my flickr account. Other posts to come will cover flowers plants and trees, and one for objects and buildings.
A trip to Dunedin Peninsula
A trip to Dunedin with the family and stayed in a little batch on the Otago Peninsula. What an amazing environment. On the way there we had the inevitable visit to the Mouraki Boulders. Regardless of the boulders, the beach is a beautiful spot in itself, but the boulders do make it a very special place.
The scenery around the Otago Peninsula can be described as plain spectacular only.
One evening my oldest son and I stayed out to watch the spectacular skies that come with a northwester wind and a sunset. Like here in Christchurch it proves for very colorful skies.
An afternoon to Little River
On the way to Akaroa you pass Little River. On the way back home, the sun was starting to go down and heavy weather was coming in. I ended up in between the sunset and severe clouds around Lake Ellesmere. It resulted in very beautiful strange light scenery.
Visiting our friends near the Nelson Lakes always great times and always spectacular scenery. My favorite old tree on the back paddock and the rainbow over one of the lakes absolutely breathtaking when you are there.
In and around Christchurch
It is easy to forget how much amazing scenery there is in and around Christchurch so here some of my favorite spots.
Is it not amazing that this is all within a half an hours to 45 minutes drive away from home.
Akaroa and Birdlings Flat
No year seems to go by without at least one visit to Akaroa and on the way thereto or from Akaroa: Birdlings Flat.
Guy Fawkes day, here I am ready to shoot fireworks over the bay in Wellington. As it turns out the event was postponed to the next Saturday som more people could come. Still beautiful there at night though.
Earlier this weekend a walk with my oldest son in one of the many domains in and around Christchurch. It was beautiful in the forest.
A walk with the whole family from Corsair Bay to Cass Bay came with amazing skies as we started in relatively beautiful weather but it turned around with heavy clouds coming in from the sea. Early Dutch painters would have had a field day here.
So here some highlights, enjoy.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. Song of Songs 2:12
… See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Matthew 6:29
Summer to me, besides the beautiful weather is together with the spring the season of explosions of color and fragrance, of amazing flowers that never cease to amaze me, new ones that I had never seen before or golden oldies that look even more beautiful than before. Hard to beat beauty, truly royal indeed, whether it is a magnificent big flower or the tiniest small one, they all have something of a very special beauty to be enjoyed while it lasts. The good news, next season WILL come, there WILL be a new summer again and again and again in which very often the flowers come out even more beautiful, in which the plant has grown to produce even more flowers.
And so it seems with my Christian journey, one day a blossoming flower the other day withered, just as Peter explained referring to Isaiah:
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
1 Peter 1:24
But like I said there WILL be a new summer, in which like the flowers we come out even more beautiful than last season. Maybe that is what Paul meant when he said:
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
We learn to focus on the things that are in front of us and this common human wisdom makes an awful lot of sense. Yet only when we are actually looking and going in the right direction. When our perspective looks beautiful, when what lies ahead of us looks beautiful, it does (as I learnt) that we are looking , walking, in the right direction. Sometimes we need to stand still and reevaluate our focus, our perspective. Are we indeed looking in the right direction, are we going the right way. I was carefully reminded of just that the other day.
This weekend we spent some time in Le Bons Bay, a small settlement of holiday homes on Banks Peninsula. On the Friday evening walking along the beach there with my oldest son, we looked out over the sea while the sun was going down. As human logic almost naturally indicates our eyes were fixed on the water from the beach to the horizon. And there was plenty of reason to do just that.
However the real visual spectacle was there not in front of us but behind us. It took this 180 degree turn to understand that we were looking in the wrong direction. Looking back from the water to where the sun was going down behind the hilltops, were were treated with this view.
The whole experience reminded me of the New Testament stories of Jesus and the apostles, how they changed radically the perspective on religion, on what the Law meant, on faith, on what it means to be a believer, to live as a disciple.
On many occasions, that requires a radical change in perspective so that His Glory may be revealed through us.
That brought me back to mind the fantastic weekend at Harmony Church the weekend before with a conference lead by Chris Gore and Chuck Parry who were in essence teaching us something similar: a radical change in our perspective of what our identity in Christ means.
Curious now? I suggest you watch this part one and following parts of “Living Unbalanced” and see what it would mean for your perspective.
I guess for all of us it is good to stand still and reevaluate our perspective every now and then.
Last Sunday after a few very busy weeks I did not go to church and instead I drove out with a Bible, journal and camera and spend some time alone while picking up my son in Cheviot. The route: Christchurch-Kaiapoi-Amberley-Waipara– Waikari– Hurunui–Culverden-Rotterham via Mouse Point- Rotterham-Waiau-via Leader Road to Parnassus-Cheviot. Cheviot- Greta Valley -detour up and down to Motunau Beach-Amberley-Kaiapoi-Christchurch.
Amazing scenery that day.
In Balmoral Forest I stopped for some lunch that I had picked up earlier. Sitting in the back of the truck eating and enjoying my coffee I opened my Bible and Journal. Luke 2: 18, 19 seemed to stick out particularly.
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19 NIV
Now that stuck out to me because as I understood it pondering was something more of a head matter. In the Merriam-Webster it says:
ponder implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter <pondered the course of action>.
It seemed to indicate a head matter. Yet, Mary pondered with her heart? It reminded me of something Santana said before one of the songs during a concert.
If we take the time to see with the heart and not with the mind, we shall see that we are surrounded completely by angels.
Again the heart prevails over the normal sensory course. Maybe there is something there? Could it maybe be that the eyes, the ears, the mind provide order to our sensations whereas it is the heart that gives it meaning, truth.
Is it not coincidental that the heart is as the one place in our body that is associated with love. We speak of knuckle heads the Bible of hardened hearts.
The heart as the place where connect knowledge and meaning, purpose, God‘s purpose by the guidance of the Spirit, the place from where the Spirit speaks, the heart as the pathway to wisdom, the truth about everything and anything, ourselves included.
Lunch turned out to be satisfactory in more than one sense and with a smile on my face I proceeded. Further down the road I was sure God was smiling back to me. Something to further explore and try on my journey of life.