Tag Archives: whales

South Island Cathedrals

24 Feb

This is main square in Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island.


That’s how it looked in September of 1998, when my children, then 5 and 7, chased seagulls and ate ice cream cones in the shadow of the Christchurch Cathedral.

One afternoon, we came downtown with a bag of cut-out squares and triangles and circles. And against their will, my children gave in to my hopeful lesson in architecture and geometry.

Lots of red and gray construction paper blew away with the wind, but we built a cathedral.


And, now, on Thomas Stasyk’s blog, I read about the earthquake that rocked Christchurch earlier this week, leaving the cathedral in a rubble, as if we had forgotten to paste geometric shapes securely to the page.

While we were in Zealand, we took a trip up the coast to Kaikoura for the world’s best whale-watching expedition ever. Whales: even mightier than a cathedral.

Here is that day, exuberantly memorialized by my son.


Let me get back to Thomas Stasyk’s post “Something to Think About” for a moment.

Tom refers to a theory linking beached whales with earthquakes. Evidently, there were large whale beachings in New Zealand in early February, with more than 80 whales stranded on shore.

Why would we think we can master Nature?