Saturday, May 15, 1999

Beth Shalom

I was driving in the Queen Charlotte Sounds and came across a sign:

I thought it would be an interesting place to have a look at, and perhaps talk to the owners to learn more. It seemed to fit with the monastery and with Parihaka as part of a possible project on peaceful places around New Zealand.

So I walked closer, down the hill, to see what was there.

A deck chair seemed to say that someone had been there, and was planning to be back.


But other things indicated to me that it would be a while before this truly was a house of peace. The place was nothing but a deck, separated from the hill I was on by a large reinforced wall.

The posts were freshly in place, with labels still intact and unweathered. There were no people, no tools, no sign that the workers would return, except the chair.

In the end, this is all there was: a sign, a path, a construction site, and a view unequaled even in paradise.