30th July 2014 – Christchurch, New Zealand
Beyond the construction sites, and the debris lying around,Beyond the grey walls, which withstood a calamity,Beyond the trams, and the still pace at which they moved,You realise that you still have a spring in the step, in this beautiful city.
The 2011 earthquake has left most of the important monuments in Christchurch, still under reconstruction. Last night, I had met a bunch of local folks over a house dinner, and one of whom was an Engineer on the reconstruction projects. She informed me that it would be years before the city was fully restored. You can’t take shortcuts with nature, she said.
Yet, taking a walk around Christchurch is fun. The Avon river runs like a beautiful vein across the city centre, and has some amazing sceneries around it. I heard so much about the punting on the Avon, but for some reason, even that was shut down today.
But, the city council did manage to set up a project called ‘Transitional city’, with creative and fun projects around the city centre, with the intention of brightening up people’s lives. One of these was a giant chess board and pieces, which was placed right in front of the cathedral, which is still closed for renovation. Marvellous idea, and the placement couldn’t be better.
Play now. You’ve prayed enough. So, they seemed to say.