Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Warm Thoughts

I do miss the people of New Zealand. I was so delighted on Sunday when I celebrated my final Mass of my time there. I was so pleased with those who decided to show up, come back to Mass after a break, or were friends from other faith traditions who came to honor me. I was so touched. I was honored by the musicians who came forth to put together a special liturgy for me - complete with St. Ignatius's Suscipe (Take, Lord, receive), the Gloria, and other fine tuning. I will always pray with a warm heart for my friends in New Zealand.

My travel back to Sydney (Pymble) was uneventful and I am now trying to adapt to the new time schedule. I awake every morning at 5:15 because my body is on New Zealand time. It is very good to see my Jesuit confreres. We will only have three weeks left together. This makes me as sad as I am to leave New Zealand.

In a month, I will return to New England in the United States and I will become a director of retreats at Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Massachusetts. My time in New Zealand has prepared me well. I look forward to that ministry.

Anyways, day by day I just want to enjoy the presence of my Jesuit brothers. My heart aches when I meet good people and have to leave them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Last Hours in Opunake

I am virtually all packed; the house is clean and restored to the way I found it. I just returned from lunch with Sister. We ate at the Headlands Restaurant, a trendy upscale restaurant in town. It was very nice. The church organist owns and runs the place. I may return there tonight as a priest friend is coming over for dinner.

I visited the Club Hotel last night to see parishioners. We later went to a bar with a Karaoke set up. Many folks did a nice job, but it was not on my docket to perform.

I wanted to say goodbye to the mountain today, but when I awoke it was dreary and threatened to rain, but now the storm is passing over and the tip of the mountain is emerging from the low-level cloud cover. The cows are still active in making noise. I feel so content, so happy that I came here. I would like to stay longer, but there is a time for every action in life, and this time has come to its end.

I will miss the people. I look forward to praying with them at Mass tomorrow morning.

I head back to Sydney!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I visited a farm of friends is Pihama and was able to get an up-close and personal look at dairy farming. I am amazed at the technical sophistication that goes into such a profession. The standards were all at excellent levels and the precision was so exact on so many aspects of farm life. My friends were grateful for the warm sunny days because on days like this you can almost watch the grass grow.

New Zealand farms are industrious and ingenious. The provide the technical know-how for much of the world. (The other night I met a man who is restoring and rebuilding an old car, an Indian motorcycle, and doing some other smaller activities – all by hand. If he needs a stand, he won’t go to the market to buy one; he will make it himself.) I watched cows getting milked on a rotary platform that was very efficient. One cow that was new to the herd was anxious and scared. I had never before witness such power and determination in a cow. Most of them are rather sedentary. I always laugh when I see calves running around. It is hilarious because most images of cows are of slow-moving animals, but in my back yard when the owner’s truck comes around, a whole herd of cows come running for their feed. They are so buoyant, but awkward.

I saw newborn calves – just born today. Their umbilical cord was still attached and hadn’t yet dried up. They were able to hobble around and the hungry ones blurted out noises so loudly. At birth, they are close to 60 pounds. A cow has to be mighty durable to carry one of those to term. Their fur is so soft and they are adorable.

Anyways, I am fascinated by what I have learned. I also had a very nice dinner and friends with my friends.

These are my last few days in Taranki. I head back to Sydney on Sunday. I will miss the rhythm of life and the warm hospitality that I have experienced here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Poem: The Sea Eagle by John Predmore, SJ

The grace of the sea eagle makes me think of you.
As I look up and see you are near.
How I wish to glide through life in the same way.
You are solitary, but your gaze is directed downwards.
To have my head in the clouds
and see you more nearly
is what I seek.
No, I want to fly alongside you
and frolic without limits.
Tumbling, swerving, stretching into new boundaries,
joining others who are lifted up -
just the breath of air to sustain us,
passing time through the brightness of day.
This is our moment.
Stay aloft over those frothy surfs.
Savor the thrill.
When day is done
just come and rest with me on the rocks
with our shadows left in the memory of the day
and feel the tickly of the splash upon our faces
knowing with a content heart how good it is.

Poem: I will not rush by by John Predmore, SJ

Too often I have rushed by you,
doing many things about you,
for you.
Meanwhile I’ve missed you
and searched for you,
but now
I know you are here.
You always were.
You’ve always wanted me.
You’ve tried to get to me,
But I passed by.
I am here
And so are you.
I won’t go
(Maybe I will –
sooner than I want.)
As I’m learning to stay by your side
without moving
without running away.
You overwhelm me though you try not to.
I’m frightened of who I might find inside myself,
but I’m in your great stillness.
You affirm me
and ask me to stay
and I feel the tingle in the tips of my toes
that makes me want to reach up to you,
but I’m just sitting
on a rock
in the sun
by the beach
beaming that you remain by my side.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ranking of My Favorite Beatles Albums

My ranking of my top 18 US-released Beatles albums (1964-70)

1. Abbey Road
2. Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
3. Rubber Soul
4. The Beatles (The White Album)
5. Let it Be
6. Revolver
7. Magical Mystery Tour
8. Meet the Beatles
9. Help
10. A Hard Day’s Night
11. The Beatles Second Album
12. Yesterday and Today
13. Introducing…The Beatles
14. Hey Jude
15. Something New
16. Beatles 65
17. Beatles VI
18. Yellow Submarine

Photos: Wellington - A Capitol City

To see photos of the capitol city of Wellington, please click on the link below:

Pics of Wellington city

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Poem: After the Museum by John Predmore, S.J.

I wrench my shoes from my bruised swollen feet
and release them from the day’s tension.
Toes pointing upwards, red and throbbing,
gasping for their fresh freedom.
They soldiered valiantly
and bore much weight
for they had to carry me home.
Now they rest, raised up, steaming hot.
“We are weary,” they cry proudly.
“We’ve toiled well.
Stretch us. Unbind us. Let the air be our salve.
We must ready ourselves for another tomorrow.”

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wellington - A Capitol City

I very much like Archbishop John Dew of Wellington. He is very solid and a great host.

I began my trek through the Capitol by touring the Parliament Buildings. Like most museums, the tour was free. We first started out in the Beehive, which is the office of the Prime Minister and his staff. He is out of the country right now (in China) to build better economic ties. So far he has secured an agreement with the Chinese to finance ocean agriculture in New Zealand. He is due back on Monday to tell the nation about his trip. He is very well-liked and well-regarded. Initially, he was thought to be inexperienced, but he has shown comfort in the way that he handles the domestic and foreign affairs of state.

Anyways, the tour took us to the Parliament, which now only consists of the lower house. The upper house was done away with in 1950 because it seemed like redundancy in government and it was an efficient way to cust costs. One amazing feature of the building is the modern reinforcement of the building to make it earthquake-resilient. The New Zealanders have exported this type of foundational work to other countries to help them prepare for such natural disasters. We concluded the tour with a brush through the Parliamentary library.

I walked along the waterfront afterwards and noticed that it remains a vibrant commercial and marine waterfront, but it has some great artwork peppered along the walkways. Speaking of walking, I am exhausted because I walked 28,000 steps yesterday and another 26,000 today.

The waterfront walk was great. I love the colors that the city uses all along the park. They are bright and vibrant and connote a great use of energy. I like that the city produces this artwork for its residents and does not seem to pander towards tourists. The result is a sense of civic pride and confidence. It is a city on the edge too, with a sharpness to some of its architecture. It does blend a polynesian style into the English-style architecture and it seems to work fine.

The city was active with runners and exercisers. A great hoarde of people of all ages, many in their 70's, were running. The people seem fit and healthy. Twenty percent of the population smokes, but fifty percent of Maori's smoke (mainly women) so the other parts of the population seldom smoke. This is great.

I was so tired so I stopped to have an apple-rhubarb-ginger muffin and a flat white decaf to revive my spirits. It turns out I didn't need it. This loud group of tweeners with braces on their teeth, their mother, and a toddler rode on this cart-type bicycle and screamed the entire way and dang their bells to notify anyone in front of them that they were arriving. Well they had no need of those bells with the ferocity of their shrill voices and laughter. Everyone knew where they were. I even paused a few times to let them pass and get way ahead of me, but damn it, they kept turning around and looping back and forth. Oh, they were a noise menance. After the silence of Opunake, their screams pierced through me.

On my return, I visited Te Papa museum and I was absolutely stunned. This is a World Class Museum on five floors. It contains many historical pieces about the Maori and European history, and it shows contemporary artwork that has been showcased in places like Venice, England, and the U.S. My feet were throbbing because I wanted to stay in the museum longer than the 2.5 hours that I did, but I needed another coffee to revive my slow-moving legs. This is certainly worth a visit. Come to New Zealand.

From there I went to Cuba Street Pedestrian Mall to do some shopping, but then it dawned on me that I really don't have money. I do notice that when I shop, I am always looking for gifts for others. I never think about what I might want for myself. When I observed that about myself, I kept being drawn to the artists section of drawing pens and pencils and some parchment. I think I will etch out something while I am here.

I had a nice dinner with the Archbishop and a North Carolinian who is here to help parishes with stewardship. The Archbishop and I began talking about the KAIROS retreats for secondary school students so he set up some appointments with me for the next day to make a pitch. The meetings went very well.

I toured the Botanical Gardens, which were very hill. They were quite nice, but it is midwinter so I wasn't expecting many flowerings shrubs or trees, but some were still blossoming.

Afterwards I took another lengthy walk around the city. Since it has Massey and Victoria Universities, it is a youthful city. I like the way that the hills are used and buildings are connected. It fits together very well. The space has a translucent quality that it invigorating. I also like how the houses emerge from hills and arise from the land. They make bold statements to say, "I am here." I did not find any run down section of town or dilapidated housing. It all seems fresh and well-maintained.

Think about New Zealand as a possible vacation. It is worth the trip.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Ferry to the Mainland

Unfortunately, my Dutch parishioners must be sad about their loss in the World Cup. They had a good run and had quite a good defense.

I am now in Wellington, New Zealand at the Archbishop’s house. I drove down last night and hadn’t realized how huge this country really is. I was in Palmerston North the other day and it wasn’t a bad drive from Opunake – about 2.5 hours. It was very pleasant landscapes.

The drive to Wellington is four hours. It is the travel distance between New York and Washington, DC. Even though I had a map, I had no idea where I was really going. It is quite odd driving for hours to a land that is at the edge of the world, and Wellington is at the lower end of the North Island. It felt like I would drive off the edge of the world. Good thing the world is round. The drive was so scenic. During the daylight, I could see the snow-capped mountains at the eastern mountain ranges. It was exciting so see. Even though I have some fear traveling up winding mountain roads without guardrails, I still find I must do it. What is in the human spirit that causes this? It is exhilarating.

Wellington is a most beautiful city. It has only about 300,000 people, but it is nestled between the foothills and the harbor creating a great juxtaposition of geographical terrain. It is a hilly city and I am here on a bright sunny winter’s day. It is not so cold and the sun makes me feel so happy. I can’t believe where I am. In some sense, I am totally a lost foreigner and have no frame of reference, but it is all so manageable. I’m half a world away from home at its southern tip of countries and very isolated and I feel somehow rooted.

This morning I decided to take the ferry from the North Island to the Mainland. I will arrive at Picton, which is still part of the Wellington archdiocese. It is near Nelson and the Marlborough region. The day is so sunny and clear. It takes a hour to leave the Wellington Harbour, an hour to cross the channel, and an hour to arrive at Picton harbor. The ferry is huge with ample space for cars and thousands of people. It is amazing to look in one direction to see the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west. The views are stunning with so many mountains and hills that abruptly descend into the ocean. We are at the continental edge. The Pacific Ocean has warmer water than the Tasman. The east coast has white sands while the west has black sand. This is quite an amazing tour that I never even thought I would be on. I am merely taking the ferry to Picton and then returning. I want to see it in daylight. If I stayed later, I would get the first rays of sunset but mostly the night sky.

I am stunned by the beauty of this part of the world. The sky is so immense. The ocean is so immense. The mountains are so immense. It reminds me of how small I am. I wrote a poem about it that I will post.

We saw a school of dolphins on our way to Picton. Other than that, you hardly see any other boats, birds or fish on this journey. This is remote.
Picton is a charming village. There are some nice tourist shops and the merchandise is not very expensive. It is a picturesque entry into the southern island. It reminds me of photos that I’ve seen of the Fjords in Norway. The southern part of the island is filled with fjords. This northern part is rather green. You can find little villages and houses right at the water’s edge here, but there doesn’t seem to be any connecting road from their houses to any other place. I wonder if they travel to the villages by boat.

Many people would flock here for vacation or to live if it were not so far away. This would be prime real estate in any other part of the world. I do like the simple goodness of the people. It feels like it gets marred when you see a KFC, McDonalds or a Subway, but those are few and far between here.

I reread “The Road from Coorain” by Jill Ker Conway. Gosh, I have a different memory of the book. I’m glad to have refreshed myself. I recall being very sympathetic to her the first time around; this second time I felt less so. She has very hard on her mother and it didn’t seem like she looked at the ways she contributed to a strained relationship. Her mother did well for her. I recall the mother being poor in my first reading of the book, but now I realize that she was affluent. I recognize many of the places and names in the book, but I have a less flattering image of Jill than I did before. She seems so unresolved. It is still a compelling story. Perhaps I’ll have to reread “True North” now.

I just want to say that I had such a pleasant day. This lifestyle suits me fine.

Photos: From Wellington to Picton

To see photos of the ferry ride from Wellington to Picton, please click on the link below:

Pics of the Ferry Ride from Wellington

Good Explanation for Low Mass Attendance

At Mass today, attendance was lower than I was expecting. I thought that many people might be interested in watching the World Cup or might be too tried from watching the All-Blacks beat up on the Springboks. Then I heard it was the beginning of calving season and everything made sense. Since we are right on the coast, calving takes place here first; next week calving takes place half a mile inland, and so on until it reaches the base of the mountain in a few weeks. It is quite an interesting life here in Opunake.

Folks really seemed to like my words in the homily today. I’ve had good feedback from them. The kids, though they are on school holiday, still attend Mass and I now give them a proper blessing.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

All is Fine

I am finding it very pleasant to be in Opunake. The weather has changed and I've seen lots of sunlight these days. I like days when I am able to do one of my four favorite things: (1.) I can explore and hike Mt. Egmont (Taranki) or just gaze upon it from my kitchen as I have a morning coffee or afternoon tea, (2.) I can sit on the rocks at the beach, especially in the late afternoon sun, (3.) I can have a coffee at the Sugar Juice Cafe - everything is good there (This morning I had a four-egg omelette with bacon, cheese, mushrooms and avocado; I heartily recommend the date scone; I've never tasted anythin like it before - yum), or (4) do a little writing (I've written four poems this week. I don't know that they are really poems but they express my emotions.

I'm having fun slowing down and not being in the race. I don't have to perform or fill my day with activities. There still isn't enough time or energy to do all the things I would like to do. And I like sitting and thnking about God, Jesus, the Spirit, and what they are doing in my life. Unfortunately, my time in New Zealand soon comes to an end. How I would like to stay a little longer. I haven't even made it to the mainland yet.

I met the lovely sister from New Plymouth of a kind Jesuit (of Melbourne, Australia). She, her husband and I had a brunch this morning before he went surfing in the afternoon. It was a very pleasant conversation. I wish we had more time because they are neat people.

Last night I met some more good folks at the pub. I'm told the language changes when I arrive, but I don't notice anything. I hear that an adjective is dropped. However, the beer flows and the conversation is good. I laughed last night when this one Australian who moved to New Zealand when he was six years old and has never been to the States asked me if I met Elvis, to which I responded, "he's dead." He replied, "Oh, I thought you were older than that." I think he got the better of me.

Anyways, I think I saw Elvis today walking down Surf Highway on his way to Pihama.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The New Translation for Mass

On Monday and Tuesday, I traveled to Palmerston North to meet with the priest and bishops of the diocese of Palmerston North and Wellington. (Palmerston North is named as such because a city of Palmerson exists on both the north and south islands.) We gathered to listen to Paul Turner, a priest from Missouri, tell us about the situation with regards to the new translation of the Mass. While I was skeptical of the new translation because of its awkward syntax and unusual choices of words, I can understand the principles used in making the translations.

The New Zealand bishops have taken a sensible approach to the translations. They are preparing themselves to begin sometime this new liturgical year. They are helping their priests understand the changes and to give them an experience of praying with the texts before they are implemented. The process is still in flux and many further changes may be made before, during and after implementation. However, the bishops are committed to pushing the process forward, even if it is not the translation they would have preferred.

After an experience of praying with the new translation, I did not find it too jarring or too much of a change for the person in the pew. The more significant changes are in the texts said by the priest and much of the language clarifies, gives shapes, perfects (and sometimes confuses) the mystery we are celebrating. The relationship between the people and God is brought to a new dimension and we can see a more distinctive relationship between God, the Creator, and Jesus Christ. Even some of the texts are poetic and flowing.

I do wish the translations have a different feel to them, but if we have to, we can live with them just fine.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Ranking of my Favorite Beatles Songs

This is a difficult undertaking, but I always wanted to see if I could organize my ranking of my favorite 206 Beatles songs. I know this list could change, but I think they are placed in the general areas of my interests. I even like the bottom songs - just not as well.

1 "Hey Jude" 1968
2 "I Should Have Known Better" 1964
3 "I Want to Hold Your Hand" 1963
4 "Twist and Shout" 1963
5 "I Saw Her Standing There" 1963
6 "Penny Lane" 1967
7 "Hello, Goodbye" 1967
8 Across the Universe" 1968
9 "The Long and Winding Road" 1969
10 "Please Please Me" 1962
11 "Eleanor Rigby" 1966
12 "I'll Get You" 1963
13 "From Me to You" 1963
14 "If I Fell" 1964
15 "P.S. I Love You" 1962
16 And Your Bird Can Sing" 1966
17 "Yesterday" 1965
18 A Day in the Life" 1967
19 All My Loving" 1963
20 "She Loves You" 1963
21 "Paperback Writer" 1966
22 "Rain" 1966
23 "Sexy Sadie" 1968
24 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" 1967
25 "You Never Give Me Your Money" 1969
26 "Two of Us" 1969
27 Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" 1967
28 "Can't Buy Me Love" 1964
29 "Carry That Weight" 1969
30 "Let It Be" 1969
31 "I've Got a Feeling" 1969
32 "Nowhere Man" 1965
33 "Boys" 1963
34 "I'm a Loser" 1964
35 "Golden Slumbers" 1969
36 "The Fool on the Hill" 1967
37 "I Am the Walrus" 1967
38 "For No One" 1966
39 "It's Only Love" 1965
40 "Got To Get You Into My Life" 1966
41 "Here, There and Everywhere" 1966
42 Because" 1969
43 "I'm Looking Through You" 1965
44 "In My Life" 1965
45 "I Will" 1968
46 "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" 1967
47 "Magical Mystery Tour" 1967
48 "One After 909" 1969
49 "Hey Bulldog" 1968
50 "Strawberry Fields Forever" 1967
51 "She's Leaving Home" 1967
52 "Thank You Girl" 1963
53 "There's a Place" 1963
54 "You're Going to Lose That Girl" 1965
55 "We Can Work It Out" 1965
56 "The End" 1969
57 "Cry Baby Cry" 1968
58 "You Can't Do That" 1964
59 "Tell Me Why" 1964
60 "The Night Before" 1965
61 "This Boy" 1963
62 "I Wanna Be Your Man" 1963
63 "It Won't Be Long" 1963
64 All You Need Is Love" 1967
65 "Help!" 1965
66 A Hard Day's Night" 1964
67 "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" 1965
68 Ask Me Why" 1962
69 "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" 1968
70 "Ticket to Ride" 1965
71 Back in the U.S.S.R." 1968
72 "Not a Second Time" 1963
73 "Dig a Pony" 1969
74 "Don't Let Me Down" 1969
75 "Drive My Car" 1965
76 "Eight Days a Week" 1964
77 "Chains" 1963
78 "Day Tripper" 1965
79 "Something" 1969
80 "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" 1968
81 "With a Little Help from My Friends" 1967
82 "Helter Skelter" 1968
83 "Come Together" 1969
84 "Get Back" 1969
85 "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" 1969
86 "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You" 1964
87 "Doctor Robert" 1966
88 "Octopus's Garden" 1969
89 "Dear Prudence" 1968
90 "Blackbird" 1968
91 "Girl" 1965
92 A Taste of Honey" 1963
93 "Do You Want to Know a Secret" 1963
94 All I've Got to Do" 1963
95 "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" 1968
96 Baby It's You" 1963
97 "Birthday" 1968
98 "Devil in Her Heart" 1963
99 "Don't Bother Me" 1963
100 "Here Comes the Sun" 1969
101 "You Won't See Me" 1965
102 "Hold Me Tight" 1963
103 "I Call Your Name" 1964
104 "I Feel Fine" 1964
105 "Words of Love" 1964
106 "I'm Down" 1965
107 "Yellow Submarine" 1966
108 "Lady Madonna" 1968
109 "Little Child" 1963
110 "Love Me Do" 1962
111 "Martha My Dear" 1968
112 "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" 1969
113 "Michelle" 1965
114 "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" 1965
115 "Long Tall Sally" 1964
116 "Money (That's What I Want)" 1963
117 "No Reply" 1964
118 "Good Day Sunshine" 1966
119 Any Time at All" 1964
120 "Revolution" 1968
121 "The Ballad of John and Yoko" 1969
122 "Oh! Darling" 1969
123 "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" 1968
124 "Misery" 1963
125 "Julia" 1968
126 "Rocky Raccoon" 1968
127 "Her Majesty" 1969
128 "Lovely Rita" 1967
129 "Every Little Thing" 1964
130 "Glass Onion" 1968
131 "I'm So Tired" 1968
132 "Yes It Is" 1965
133 "I've Just Seen a Face" 1965
134 "Getting Better" 1967
135 "When I'm Sixty-Four" 1967
136 And I Love Her" 1964
137 Anna (Go to Him)" 1963
138 "I'll Be Back" 1964
139 "I'll Cry Instead" 1964
140 "Good Morning Good Morning" 1967
141 "I'll Follow the Sun" 1964
142 "If I Needed Someone" 1965
143 "Please Mr. Postman" 1963
144 "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" 1968
145 All Together Now" 1967
146 "She's a Woman" 1964
147 "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" 1964
148 Baby's in Black" 1964
149 "Sun King" 1969
150 "Fixing a Hole" 1967
151 "Savoy Truffle" 1968
152 "Maggie Mae" 1969
153 "You Really Got a Hold on Me" 1963
154 "Piggies" 1968
155 "Polythene Pam" 1969
156 "You Like Me Too Much" 1965
157 "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" 1965
158 "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" 1969
159 "Revolution 9" 1968
160 "Rock and Roll Music" 1964
161 "Roll Over Beethoven" 1964
162 "Till There Was You" 1963
163 "Good Night" 1968
164 "Run for Your Life" 1965
165 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" 1967
166 "She Said She Said" 1966
167 "Taxman" 1966
168 "Tell Me What You See" 1965
169 "The Word" 1965
170 "Things We Said Today" 1964
171 "When I Get Home" 1964
172 "Mean Mr. Mustard" 1969
173 "Think for Yourself" 1965
174 "Tomorrow Never Knows" 1966
175 "Wait" 1965
176 "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)" 1969
177 "What Goes On" 1965
178 "What You're Doing" 1964
179 "Wild Honey Pie" 1968
180 "Within You Without You" 1967
181 "Yer Blues" 1968
182 "Your Mother Should Know" 1967
183 "Blue Jay Way" 1967
184 Baby, You're a Rich Man" 1967
185 Another Girl" 1965
186 Act Naturally" 1965
187 "Don't Pass Me By" 1968
188 "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" 1968
189 "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" 1964
190 "For You Blue" 1969
191 "Dig It" 1969
192 "I Me Mine" 1970
193 "I Need You" 1965
194 "Honey Pie" 1968
195 "I Want to Tell You" 1966
196 "Honey Don't" 1964
197 "Love You To" 1966
198 "Mother Nature's Son" 1968
199 "Mr. Moonlight" 1964
200 "Revolution 1" 1968
201 "Matchbox" 1964
202 "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" 1964
203 "Only a Northern Song" 1967
204 "Flying" 1967
205 "Old Brown Shoe" 1969
206 "Long, Long, Long" 1968

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Integrating Well

The past few day have been exceptionally nice. I find it ironic that I am now seeking more alone time and silence because my schedule has filled out. I drove to Hawera, forty minutes from Opunake, to see what this small town was like. I was surprised because it is a fairly large town with a thriving shopping district. I am coming to see that the Taranaki bulge is basically a farming-only community and is a destination. Most people would drive from New Plymouth to Hawera and points south. The population centers are in those areas and few people would travel to the place where I am staying. In Hawera, I had lunch with the parish priest who is from Ireland and is now incardinated from the Auckland diocese into Palmerston North.

I presided at a funeral the other day of a man who was well-regarded in the town. Everyone seemed to be comforted by the service.

On Thursday evening, I went to Hawera again to attend a presentation by the Bishop and his staff. I enjoyed meeting the bishop and the presentation on the Mass in Slow Motion was thought-provoking. I will visit the Bishop and his priests next Monday in Palmerston North.

On Friday night, I went out for my daily walk and since it was evening, I decided I would turn into the local tavern for a quick beer. This place looked like many of the locals frequented it and I thought I would go in to meet them. A member of my finance council was there and bought me a drink. I stayed for over 4.5 hours (not drinking that much), but just interacting with the folks. I had a very enjoyable night.

Since it was the third day of sunshine in a row, I went to the eastern entrance to Mt. Taranaki and I was so glad I did. The sunshine warmed the place so nicely and I had a rather good hike, though not strenuous, along the mountain's base. I walked to the ski lodge as this is winter, but there was no snow around. I just took in all the sensory data that I could. It was a nice few days and I have a busy week approaching.

I can't believe I'll be back in New England next month.

Photos: Rainbows and Peaks

To see photos of the rainbows and peak of the eastern entrance to Mt. Taranaki, please click on the link below:

Pics of Rainbows and Peaks