Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter Sunday, 2010

The sun had not yet risen, and it was still dark when I put the kayak into Middle Harbour, and started east to the sea. This is the part that always makes me nervous: speed limits mean nothing to amateur fishermen racing out for the day, and a lone layak sitting low in the water is hard to see at the best of times. Besides, I’ve seen them opening their first beers of the morning while the boat is still on the trailer…

Forty minutes later I passed under the bridge. A following wind and an incoming tidal swell made for a bumpy ride, and my arms were already starting to ache. Another half or so, and I reached the main harbour, directly opposite Sydney Heads:

Paddle straight ahead for another 1,500 miles and you’ll land somewhere on the North Island of New Zealand/Aotearoa. Turn about 45° to the left after you’ve cleared the heads and if you paddle for a whole lot longer you’ll end up somewhere in California. My little river boat had reached her limit, however, and keeping her upright while I took this picture was a feat of which I’m quite proud. A light rain was falling from the grey clouds overhead, but far off to east, where the sun was rising, was a new day; a light breaking through the chill gloom. And looking at this I thought of Easter, and how even the sky speaks of a resurrection which is both long ago, today, and still to come.

Turning, I surfed back into Middle Harbour, cutting in beneath the relative shelter of the Grotto Point Lighthouse. Then another hour into the wind, which was building as the sun climbed, and then home to waking children, and an Easter egg hunt, and hot cross buns and coffee, and a warm shower, and then the choral Eucharist at St. James’. Where, if I closed my eyes, I could still taste the salt spray, and hear the waves, and rejoice in the One whose victory over death is without conditions.

God Bless us all, and thanks for dropping by.


susan s. said...

Lovely! We here in Berkeley will gather at 5:30am just a little before the sunrise the vigil begins. We light the fire and follow the Big Candle into the Church where we listen to the lessons, and the choir, wait for the sun to shine in, then sing the great Alleluia and celebrate our Risen Lord. Breakfast upstairs and then the 10:00 service for those slug-a-beds, with Brass and Timpani and loud music, etc. I actually like the Vigil best.

Happy Easter Alcibiades and the rest of the Duck Noodle Gang. Don't forget to carry on feasting! We are, after all, compelled to feast!!

Brian R said...

You have made me slightly homesick although I prefer to see the Sydney heads from a Manly ferry not a little kayak, you are very brave. But I did miss choral eucharist at St James. It was nice at St Paul's cathedral, Dunedin but sadly not in the same class.

Alcibiades said...

The Eucharist and Renewal of Baptismal Vows at St. James' really was spectacular. As the choir sung during the entrance procession an awestruck Miss Four whispered in my ear, "Daddy, how did they get the angels to come down and sing in church?" The sermon, by the retired New Zealand Primate, Governor-General and Bishop of Auckland, Sir Paul Reeves was also one of the most powerful, challenging, and inspiring I've ever heard. Even two toddlers with tummies full of chocolate were entranced - just watching their amazed silence was astonishing, let alone the service!

As for the kayak: my wife prefers the word "mad" to "brave", but as I keep trying to convince her, providing you stay within your limits and carry all the appropriate safety gear it's every bit as safe as the Manly ferry. Not that she believes me any more than you do, of course... :-)

Doorman-Priest said...

Belated Easter greetings to you and yours.

gerry said...

A belated Happy Easter to all the Duck Noodles. Wow a kayak into the Heads!!!

Saturday evening, Susan and I attended the Great Vigil at Christ Church, Binghamton which was also its 200th Anniversary with the Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori as Celebrant and Preacher.

A lovely service and memorable sermon. Sunday morning, we were back home at Trinity Memorial for the Choral Eucharists at 8:00 and 10:00 AM.

The Mixed and Treble Choirs were sublime and the pipe organ was in full voice for the first time since undergoing a Golden Anniversary tuneup and overhaul. Interestingly the overhaul cost 250% of the 1960 original cost.

Inflation really is a bear.

The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alcibiades
It's interesting to see John Chapman's name on the top of the eternity magazine. Same old same old... just revamped to appeal to youngsters.
How insidious! Brain washing and subliminal messages from what I call a very 'uncool' group of individuals. Why not show it for what it is ... hell, fire, brimstone AND DISCRIMINATION!
Nothing like the beauty depicted in your Easter Sunday sunrise.