While George W. Bush was about to bring shame to the stars and stripes for a second time (term), I blew out a sigh of frustration and headed to Eden (a.k.a. New Zealand’s south island).
At Kinloch Lodge, near Queenstown, the mountain across the lake was shot in the forehead by a bolt of sun’s even-song. Never have I seen a mountain with such a iridescent wreathe of cloud around its brow. Such clarity of pellucid light. The superlatives have to be packed up at this point. Nothing to be said.
Try stopping for a moment in some beechwood in New Zealand – the bird songs are amazing. The litter on the ground and the tall trunks create the open space of northern hemisphere beechwood, but it feels much wilder here, as indeed it is.
The space and the ancient forms… The tiny leaves… I was transported to Lothlorien from Jackson’s film.
The atmospheric and sentinel-like tors of Arthur’s Pass:
And finally, the Southern Alps. Aldous Huxley’s father called a trip to the mountains the equivalent of church-going, and my time in this area certainly cultivated my sense of the religious.