On her blog this week, Tsh Oxenreiter is celebrating the release of her new book, At Home in the World. I picked up (totally cover lust) Notes from a Blue Bike a while ago and liked it.
On her blog, Tsh is inviting people to write about three things:
- Share about a place where you feel at home in the world.
- Write about a city (of any size) you love. (there’s prompts for this submission)
- Tell me whyyou’ve chosen to stay wherever it is you call home…
I’m picking number one. And for me, number one is Te Henga or Bethells Beach, Auckland.
It’s a wild, windy West Coast beach with all that the geographical location implies. There’s no swimming here (except in the lagoon that is formed by Waitakere River) and the surf patrol is only during the high season. The coffee cart is in the clearing next to the main carpark – and often the eftpos is down, so make sure you take some cash & don’t expect to be able to use cell phone data or WiFi – and the public toilets are paved with the black sand from where people have showered or simply rinse their feet off before going home.
Walking down the sheltered entry you could be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing much going on here. The carpark may be full but it’s rare that you’ll encounter someone else, except when the tide is out and all the kids want to explore the cave. Dogs run freely down the south end of the beach, wheeling around like the gulls they chase, bouncing into the surf after tennis balls and driftwood. If you want to explore, head left at the heads and climb over towards Ihumoana Island (now fenced off due to rockfalls) and further north, past Kauwahia Island and surf at O’Neill Bay.
Head right, and stretch your legs down towards the old wharf and the caves. You can keep going, moving down the Hillary Trail for hours or days. Your head will clear of anything and you’ll come away reinvigorated. It’s a great place to walk & talk to God, to your significant other, to your kids.