Today we celebrate Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s national day. A lot of people attend the celebrations at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds itself, others enjoy the day off with friends and family, celebrating this beautiful country. You can read more on the Treaty of Waitangi here.
I was at work for a few hours today, but late afternoon we went to a local regional park called Duder Regional Park. We have completed most of the walks at the park with the farm loop walk being the hardest one I have personally attempted. But the reward you do have afterwards is having the beach right at your feet. A 20 minute walk on a dusty gravel road and you hit the crisp blue waters. At low tide you can walk endlessly on the beach, taking you a few 100 metres in. Unfortunately I misjudged the tide schedule and we got there with the tide coming in. That didn’t stop us to still walk along the edge of the beach and the kids playing in the water. And again we saw fish jumping! I told my husband about these amazing little fish at Clarks Beach circussing in and out of the water, and today he got to see it for himself. He is reasonably convinced that it’s sardines. Where’s a fishing net when you need one?!
After our trip we took my daughter’s friend home and we ended spending a few hours with her family who have become good friends of ours. We spontaneously decided to get pizzas for dinner and went to their local park, which is also right on the waters, to have a picnic dinner. It is here in the presence of family and friends, kids playing on the playground, the peaceful surroundings, a sense of belonging, that it dawned on me what Waitangi day symbolizes for me: freedom! Freedom from fear, indifference and judgement. Freedom to just live life.
Blessings to all New Zealanders.