A favourite Auckland place – the short, curving breakwater at the Devonport shore.
I have visited there a number of times before, but this time around I was drawn to its pure functionality.
The sandy beach just out of shot was protected by the waves driven by a fresh south-easterly wind.
There was calm in the lee of the solid pier.
The breakwater was doing its job.
Which had me thinking about what breaks the adverse forces that fall upon us in life.
There is something about resilience in this. The tools that we have at our disposal or the things we learn along the way, that mitigate the effect of the negative and the harmful.
I spent a great part of my adult life not realising that resilience was even a quality. Stuff happened and you just dealt with it well, or didn’t, as the case may have been.
Which is sort of leaving things to chance.
The reason some people bounce back from tumult or disaster, and others don’t, doesn’t come down to genetics or your star sign.
It is our hard earned resilience that makes the difference. That is: learning from experience; realising that existence is both fluid and fragile; and finding shelter (or a breakwater) when you need it.
Just as an aside, resilience should not be confused with stoicism. I have learned the difference between the two the hard way. Stoicism is pretending you are the breakwater.
In life, as in the shoreline scene, we find ourselves on either side of the breakwater at different times.
Resilience is just knowing where to position yourself when the waves toss up.
It leaves the local freshwater lagoon almost devoid of water and its normally hidden base soil left desiccated and cracked.
From a photographer’s perspective the repetitive abstract patterns of the dried mud are brilliant.
But the birdlife and fish at the lagoon have struggled through Auckland’s worst dry spell in a quarter century .They have boxed on in their sad-arse environs and I have felt sorry for them.
Rain is forecast for today, mercifully. The dawn showers are starting to fall, the heavier stuff will roll in later in the day. Being a pluviophile (rain lover) of sorts, I have a sense of keen anticipation. And the ducks, herons, geese, eels and carp are gonna love it!
When you are parched, you fully appreciate that which slakes your thirst.
Looking down to Judge’s Bay from the tranquility of the rose garden , I am met with the clattering noise of a freight train .It’s on the main trunk line, laden with shipping containers, bound for god knows where.
If the peace is momentarily shattered, I am actually comforted by the rumble from the tracks beneath me and the brute ugliness of the containers and rusty carriages.
For it signifies “business as usual”.
For all the strictures of lockdown and pandemic-fueled economic recession, the passing train and its cargo tell me that normal activity is actually happening out there.
Good shit headed for people who will do good shit with it…
I know, with a headline like that, you might expect something exotic and mysterious.
The answer, in the case of the walled garden and fountain at Auckland’s Parnell Rose Gardens, is not like that at all. The garden is simply locked during lockdown, and I had to make do with a shot though a gap in the iron gates on the weekend.
There is nothing, however, like not being able to do or have something to make you f**king want it all the more.
Adam and Eve, back in the day, didn’t put up with a little frustration in the Garden of Eden. They can take all the blame…
” Healing doesn’t have to look magical or pretty. Real healing is hard, exhausting and draining. Let yourself go through it. Don’t try to paint it as anything other than what it is. Be there for yourself with no judgment.” – Audrey Kitching