Next branch…Kaitaia Ward. We wanted to get to the north tip of the island to see the lighthouse on Cape Reinga. Knowing this would be a 3 hour journey we picked the ward closest to it. Bishop Armstrong, clearly of some Maori descent, presided over the meeting which was entirely testimonies of their youth temple trip. Evidence of the hard work finding speakers in a small branch. This was the largest branch so far and the building actually looked like a real chapel.
I thought of Ben when I saw this hymnal. Some artist found a canvas and started to carve Maori designs in it. Ben, you now have a new challenge!
After the meeting I caught up with the Bishop and told him that we shared the same last name. He told us that his mother is Maori and his father is white and that he grew up in Pocatello Idaho, where his father comes from! I’m going to learn the haka dance just in case we are related:)!
The road to the cape reminded me of the windy road to Stanley only it was more narrow and very forested.
“You are here”. The wind was ferocious at the tip of the north island but what we were about to witness made the undoing of my hair totally worth it…
We were told that you could see a straight line where the Pacific and the Tasman sea meet. The sea was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman, who was the first recorded European to encounter New Zealand and Tasmania in Australia. There was no line but a pounding of the two seas created by their currents and waves colliding. It was amazing to be at a point on the earth where you see two oceans collide.
You can see where the two oceans collide from both the left and right side of the video.
You can see the turmoil of the waters.
Maori history and legend
For Māori, Cape Reinga is the most spiritually significant place in New Zealand.
An ancient pohutukawa tree and a lonely lighthouse mark this special place.
It is here that after death, all Māori spirits travel up the coast and over the wind-swept vista to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Te Rerenga Wairua.
They descend into the underworld (reinga) by sliding down a root into the sea below. The spirits then travel underwater to the Three Kings Islands where they climb out onto Ohaua, the highest point of the islands and bid their last farewell before returning to the land of their ancestors, Hawaiiki-A-Nui.
I was able to capture the tree just to the right of the picture. As in all things nature, there are great lessons we can learn about strength and perseverance.