“Life has seasons in it as well”
Yeah, I never heard of them either! But today, I will find out!
I had a few hours before meeting a friend at Lake Tekapo, I thought I could explore the greater Tekapo area a little more, and so I headed out to Lake Alexandrina close to Lake Tekapo itself. The place looked so idyllic surrounded by trees on the shoreline. I was told in autumn the trees are a beautiful orange-yellow colour. Yet another location to add to my bucket list for a particular time of the year. You get to realise how timing plays such a crucial role in capturing landscapes - timing, light, colour. Life has seasons in it as well.
But today, it was the middle of summer, and a hot blazing day, but this was the perfect escape. There was no cellphone coverage - perfect! It’s hard for a city slicker like me to find no coverage zones in daily life, I like going to the forests sometimes just to “disconnect”. And right here, right now, here by the lake; for the first time in a long long time I felt totally disconnected from everything. The path around the lake was rough, rocky and filled with lupins - yeah that weed that is just so striking in everyones photos! The lake was totally calm, the water was so clear - I can see through to the bottom almost. There are people out on the lake, paddle boarding, kayaking, and a few ducks - this is the only ripple created in the lake.
I do a short out and back walk, realising I’m not going to have enough time to round the full lake. This is probably the calmest I've felt in about 2 years, my mind is totally blank and all I want to do is stare at the water. I hope I can go back to this “place”. By this “place” I mean - this sense of calmness, and peacefulness. Sam Harris talks about - when was the last you went for a walk just to go for a walk, and nothing else. The power of mindfulness, being in the moment, and not being lost in thought. Your mind is the most rambling insane person you will ever meet, and how can we stop it. This felt like the time I was able to do it.
I returned to the car park. There is now a bit of a crowd - people with cameras, department of conservation rangers and locals. They are all looking at these birds nesting in the shallow water in the inlet. I get to talk to a local. He tells me they are the Southern Crested Grebe - I don’t even know what to respond, as I have no idea what they are. He tells me - these birds have recently started nesting here and the numbers are growing, and they have not been seen here before.
I try to get a spot to have a look, and indeed - they are fascinating - the young chick is riding on the adult’s back. It is very cute, then the other adult comes and feeds the young chick. I got my long lens out and decided to get a few shots. I read up about them later:
They are very rare, don’t nest in big numbers like this and are threatened with only less than 1000 birds. Whatever the case - I guess they have had to adapt and survive. I’m sure there is a metaphor in there about change being the only constant, we must adapt or die, life finds a way by adapting, we see this in nature all the time.
Anyways I knew I had to get back soon to meet up with a friend in Tekapo. I pack my gear and head back into some form of reality. My mind is no longer blank, and too many thoughts are flying around - and so that sense of calmness I had for a second ends.