The day after the magical sunrise at Mount Cook, we drove to Gillespies Beach, a beach only accessible from a lengthy dirt road through tropical trees.
We almost had to turn around by heaps of cows moving into a different pasture, but carried on down the road to the open sea with a black sand beach. We quickly met two Department Of Conservation (DOC) boys, chatting briefly about the magic of Gillespies and the above average nature of it being their office for the day. As we walked away one of the boys yelled “Enjoy the beach,” to which I responded, “Feel free to join us if you have a break.”
And so they did. We laid on the beach as they ate their lunch and watched them run at the aggressive waves of the West Coast. as they ran back to us, they sat down catching their breath and said “It just makes me feel alive.” They asked if we had gone in. I said no. I’m not used to the ocean. It feels strong, a bit unforgiving. One of the boys said, “Yeah, the waters of the West Coast are aggressive. If you’re passive you won’t make it in – you have to be aggressive back.” I reckon this held a lot of truth, for why I could only just stand and watch the waves. I’ll hear his voice when I have another chance.
We then we thanked them for their knowledge of places to go and things to see, and did as we always had – hopped in the car, put on our favorite song by Marlin’s Dreaming and drove away. Despite the light i always felt through their music and the nature here, with every bend in the dirt road there was a weight in my chest. Keeke broke the silence.