a tree, an ocean, & a sea

Cape Reinga, or Te Rerenga Wairua, is at the tip-top of New Zealand, or Aotearoa — not quite the northernmost point, but close. It is where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. It is the place where the Māori believe that spirits depart from this world to go back to the underworld.

If you look very closely, you’ll see a tree growing diagonally out from the rocky point. Life clinging on at the point of departure for the dead. A reminder that it is all a cycle and all connected.

I visited the Cape on a windy, blustery day. The day felt a bit hurried, and I was fitting in the trip in a time when I was carrying stress with me.

And yet.

Within all of that, there are moments of looking at the lone tree next to the meeting of a sea and an ocean and wondering if the blustery wind has any effect on the spirits heading back to the underworld. And those were moments of rather peaceful contemplation. And the bluster around me was just fine.

“Point of departure” has layers of meaning for me at the moment, not just for those who have passed on. In that vein, is there a place that you feel is a point of departure for you? And what needs to depart right now?