Beauty is God’s Handwriting

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s  handwriting–a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower and thank God for it is as a cup of blessing.”      Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Hells Canyon, Wallowa County

The Catlins 3

I am making one last post to share the beauty Meg and I experienced on the remote beaches of the Catlin coastal country on the southern tip of South Island, New Zealand. This area, and specifically Nugget Beach and Nugget Lighthouse, will always be a special memory.

 

Nugget Point lighthouse, Nugget Beach, Catlins
Nugget Point lighthouse, Nugget Beach, Catlins
Nugget Point lighthouse, Nugget Beach, Catlins
Catlins, Nugget beach, Nugget Beach Lodge, Curio Bay
Catlins, Florence Hill, Tautuka Bay
Catlins, Florence Hill, Tautuka Bay blowhole
Carlins, Purakaunui Falls

Catlins, Nugget beach, Nugget Beach Lodge
Nugget Point lighthouse, Nugget Beach, Catlins
Nugget Point lighthouse, Nugget Beach, Catlins
Nugget Point lighthouse, Nugget Beach, Catlins
Nugget Point lighthouse, Nugget Beach, Catlins
Catlins, Nugget beach, Nugget Beach Lodge

The Catlins: sand, sea, sunrises

Continuing the theme of the “Camelot” magic of the Catlins.

We spent three nights at Nugget Beach at a wonderful place, the Nugget Lodge.  I had reserved a room at this two unit motel four months earlier, and 8,000 miles away.  I was thrilled to arrive and see this incredible beach. I really had no idea that a choice from an internet site would turn out so spectacular.

The first picture shows Pauline, our gracious hostess, pointing out the beach. We stayed in the “Sea Lion” unit. We would watch sea lions on the beach in the late afternoon and early morning. Nugget Lighthouse framed the view in the other direction. An isolated beach lay below the road to the lighthouse.  From a blind above the beach, we could watch yellow eyed penguins come ashore in the early evening.
I walked the beach early each morning. Sunrises were superb. A storm blew in the last morning—wind and light rain.  I had planned to stay indoors.  Fortunately Meg wanted to take a walk nonetheless.  Unbelievably, a full rainbow appeared, giving us an unforgettable memory and confirming that you must be “there,” despite the weather, if you want memorable images.
The beach has become my mental retreat location where I can truly renew myself with its serenity and memories of deep and stimulating time shared there with Meg. We will come again.
Catlins, Nugget Lodge
Nugget Lodge, Nugget Beach, Catlins
Nugget Lodge, Nugget Beach sea lion, Catlin sea lion
Catlins, Nugget Beach sea lion
Catlins, Nugget Beach sea lion
Catlins, Nugget Beach, Nugget Point sunrise
Catlins, Nugget Beach
Catlins, Nugget Beach, Nugget Point waves
Catlins, Nugget Beach, Nugget lighthouse
Catlins, Nugget Beach yellow eyed penguin
Catlins, Nugget Beach yellow eyed penguin
Rainbow Nugget Point Catlins

The Catlins, forests and falls

There is  a  “Camelot”  feel to the Catlins in the far southern coast of South Island, New Zealand. Meg and I had never visited this location.  It is remote and sparsely populated by some of the kindest, most self reliant New Zealanders we have met in our ten years of traveling this wonderful country.

Rugged coasts with long deserted beaches, rocky coastlines with high breaking waves, endless green hills, many filled with sheep, dense fern and tree forests with paths leading to waterfalls. and marine life such as sea lions, penguins, dolphins make the allure of the Catalans irresistible.

Based at Nugget Point Lodge on the beach of the same name, we explored the beautiful and lush fern forest that led to McLean Falls. This walk/hike was one of the most delightful and emotionally invigorating we have taken in New Zealand. The trail was cool and damp, with wonderful surprises of mosses, ferns, trees and small streams before we reached the falls themselves. Hopefully, we can visit again.
Catlins,McLean Falls trail
Catlins,McLean Falls trail
McLean Falls, Catlins
McLean Falls, Catlins

 

McLean Falls, Catlins
McLean Falls, Catlins
McLean Falls, Catlins

 

McLean Falls, Catlins
Catlins,McLean Falls Catlins, McLean Falls
Catlins, McLean Falls
New Zealand sheep ranching, Catlins sheep ranching

Love will prevail

 

“Easter says to us that despite everything to the contrary, his will for us will prevail, love will prevail over hate, justice over injustice and oppression, peace over exploitation and bitterness.”      Desmond Tutu

“Christians, like their Master, must be ready to accept the world’s worst that evil and cruelty can do to them, and vanquish it by the power of love.” Evelyn Underhill

 

He is risen

Children of God

“You are created because of love and you are given unconditional love.  That is who you are: a beloved one and one who has love to share.

“The voice that Jesus heard at his baptism was an incredible affirmation from God: ‘You are my beloved Son. My favor rests on you.’
“That voice made it possible for Jesus to go into the world, to live in the truth and also to suffer.  He knew the truth, he claimed it, and he walked in the word.  People ruined his life by rejecting him and hurting him, by spitting on him and finally killing him on the cross, but he never lost the truth.  He lived his joy and his pain under the blessing of the Father. He never lost his truth. God loved him unconditionally and no could take that from him.”  Henri Nouwen
We are NOT defined by society’s demands, by the movie/television ads, even by our friends.  God’s never ending love is where we find a strength and our comfort, and beloved-ness.
1 John 3, Nugget Point, Catlins

Photos by Eric Valentine