Lake Waikare, Te Kauwhata, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016
My little escape to the Waikato is over and I’m back at my desk. Although the sun is still shining today, I’m already missing the big skies and expansive views that both dwarfed and nestled me while I was away.
“The end of Auckland.” State Highway 1, and south to the Waikato from the Nikau Road over-bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.
It is sometimes said that “real” New Zealand begins south of the Bombay Hills, which mark the place where southern Auckland becomes northern Waikato. I spent some of the happiest of my early years in a small South Waikato town, and still get a rush of longing when I feel I’ve left Auckland behind.
Where is everyone? Mt Te Aroha, seen from State Highway 26, at Morrinsville, Waikato, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.
Traffic congestion is one of the things I find most stressful in my current life. I hate the environmental impact of thousands of semi-stationery cars and I hate the waste of my time and emotional energy; trapped in my car, or planning alternative routes and workarounds. New Zealand isn’t a huge country, but there are so many places where traffic isn’t a problem — what are we doing wrong?
Waikato River flowing through Cambridge, South Waikato. Image: Su Leslie, 2016
I am happiest near water, and while I’ve been a long way from the coast for the last couple of days (relatively speaking — this is New Zealand), I spent time by the Waikato River, and finally “found” Lake Waikare — which I’ve glimpsed hundreds of times from the car. Apparently it’s less than two metres deep — and sadly, quite polluted. It did look lovely from my vantage point though (1).
Late afternoon. The Waikato River at Mercer. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.
Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance. — Charles Lindbergh
Despite the brevity of my time away, I think I have achieved some of the clarity that Lindbergh talked about. I don’t know what the future is going to look like, but I do know that it’s easier to plan when I’m not in the middle of everything that isn’t working any more.
This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. The theme is landscape.
(1) Waikato Regional Council.