Earlier in the year I took a trip. A long, once in a lifetime (though hopefully not 😉 ) trip around the world. I took probably thousands of photographs of the wonderful things I saw. At the time many of my favourite photographs were of stunning sunsets, tropical islands, beautiful coastal views.
But my favourites have begun to change.
This is now one of my favourites.
It is a photo of the Moeraki Boulders on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
According to tradition:
Local Māori legends explained the boulders as the remains of eel baskets, calabashes, and kumara washed ashore from the wreck of an Arai-te-uru, a large sailing canoe. This legend tells of the rocky shoals that extend seaward from Shag Point as being the petrified hull of this wreck and a nearby rocky promontory as being the body of the canoe’s captain.
The Moeraki Boulders are a number of huge spherical stones, found strewn along a stretch of Koekohe Beach near Moeraki, a small settlement just south of Hampden on New Zealand’s Otago coast.
These boulders are grey-coloured septarian concretions which have been exposed through shoreline erosion from black mudstone coastal cliffs that back the beach.
They originally formed in ancient sea floor sediments during the early Paleocene some 60 million years ago.
The boulders weigh several tons and are up to three metres in diameter.
At the time it was just a short refreshments stop on a long bus journey on the way from one place to another, we only stopped for maybe half an hour. These boulders – and there are many of them – loom out of the sea and out of the sand dunes like something left there by a passing alien craft. They look completely out of place. And yet everything about this photograph brings me back. To the limitless possibilities of being so far away with only myself for company. To the freedom of looking after and answering only to myself.
And most of all to the wonders of the world and how beautiful it really is.
Sometimes it is easy to miss that or to forget it. Yesterday, showing someone around Dublin for her first time and seeing it through her eyes made me appreciate what Dublin is again. She has just moved here knowing a grand total of two people and is as excited about Dublin as I was about everything on my trip.
What I saw yesterday was a small but vibrant and colourful city, full of art and culture and interesting people. Yes it’s not all good, it has it’s fair share of trouble and troubled citizens but show me any city that doesn’t?
I love it!