A recent mid-winter trip to the Mount and Tauranga for a week with the kids while Richard worked was a real gift for us. The weather was beautiful.
I live in a city that is surrounded by hills, whereas Tauranga Moana has the most amazing big sky scapes. The first morning I took my smallest boy and walked the beach right where my apartment used to be (now replaced by an impressive waterfront mansion), right beneath the Mount itself.
We walked for a few hours, exclaimed over shells (the best shell beaches lie along this coast, in my humble opinion), and pootled around in the rock pools. Not much has changed since I was here last but I'd forgotten how spectacular the scenery is. Massive stretches of golden sand that just go forever and at low tide, revealing big stretches of sand. It was a spiritual moment for me. I always feel closest to God by the ocean.
The beach and my child bringing me shells, two of my most favourite things in the whole world. At times like this one can easily say "It is well with my soul", revelling in the utmost respect for the ultimate artist and creator who makes all things truly good.
He got to the top of the small bank and looked back at me as if to say "Holy toledo mama, check out this beach." And then he was off because he knows this is our time and our playground.
I used to sit here and pray and talk with friends in my twenty's, as a young single woman working for Youth for Christ, full of optimism and passion to serve others while finding myself. This view is so familiar to me.
He kept running ahead of me and then circling back with gifts of shells for his mama because he knows my love for treasures found on our walks. I love how for children, life is so simple and uncomplicated. They live in the moment.
A lot has happened since I last stood here.
"Some more mama". He brings me treasures to take back for his brothers as well.
Sky and beachscape in all her glorious and wondrous self.
A small shell, one of thousands, unique and perfect.
Nothing like a shell ring to take me back to my childhood.
When the grass is this green right beside the ocean, it speaks of life.
Knuckles goes exploring at the foot of Mount Maunganui.
A mansion where our small two bedroom flat once stood as a block of four.
Lots of memories and laughs, and where my sweetheart and I first started building our friendship seventeen years ago. We'll definitely be back.