Tag Archives: East_Cape_NZ

“Freedom comes when you know with your heart that you are loved.”

“Freedom comes when you know with your heart that you are loved.  If you could accept and believe that you are unconditionally love and embraced,  you could go all over the world and never be lonely‚ĶIn our personal relationships a moral life is not enough. We must also live the mystical life, a life which is embraced by the God who says, “I love you fully and unconditionally.”  Henri Nouwen

Mt_Harris_OR, Union_County_OR

Ohope, Bay_of_Pleanty

East Cape lighthouse and the first light of morning

For years, as we have stayed with our family here at Ohope Beach on the Bay of Plenty, we have looked out to what seems a mythical line of land that stretches far, far out toward the horizon.  East Cape forms the eastern boundary of this vast bay.  Meg and I have long wanted to explore what lies beyond our sight.  So, we followed the ever twisting, ever rising and descending, narrow road that goes around this cape.  Beaches and coves beyond numbers came into view and then were left behind.  Our destination was the small town of Te Aroroa, from where a gravel road goes out to the East Cape lighthouse, the most eastern part of mainland New Zealand–where the sunrise first reaches the country.

We got up early at our motel in Te Aroroa, five fifteen to be exact, and drove in the dark, past cows and horses in the road, past a few narrow drop offs, to reach the trail up to the East Cape lighthouse.  Seven hundred and sixty steps later (yes the guidebook gave us that specific number), we were there with five other viewers.  Purple turned to pink to red, to yellow, and the sun arrived.  We had nothing to do with “calling” the sun to rise.  Yet, its rising seemed uniquely special to us.  The event is daily, and to be there just to be there, creates an inner joy and tranquility.

East Cape lighthouse
East Cape, Te Aroroa

East Cape lighthouse, East Cape, Te Aroroa, Gisborne

East Cape Lighthouse, Te Aroroa, Gisborne
East Cape, Gisborne

East Cape Lighthouse

East Cape   (if you enlarge this image, you can just make out the lighthouse at a the top of the bluff)

First light

During our stays in Ohope on the Bay of Plenty, North Island, Meg and I have looked out to the long crescent of land that extends toward the horizon in the east. The road along this East Cape twists and turns, sometimes high above the ocean, sometimes at beach level; sometimes close to the ocean, sometimes inland.  The drive is slow, highlighted by gorgeous bays and beaches, and most dramatically, the East Cape Lighthouse.  There, the sunrise first meets New Zealand, and actually is the second landfall from the International Dateline after the islands of Tonga (where Meg and I served in the Peace Corps) .

As Meg and I watched the sunrise Wednesday morning, we enjoyed these selections from Psalm 25 as we felt the power of the Lord’s ever abiding gifts to us, His children:

East_Cape_lighthouse_NZ,  Bay_of_Plenty

East_Cape_lighthouse_NZ,  Bay_of_Plenty