Yesterday morning I left. I had followed the Picton detour signs, a reminder of an earthquakes capability, and was on the 0215 ferry to Wellington and then homeward(?) bound to Auckland. I have spent most of 2016 with you and have grown to love who you are.
From a gentle rolling atop Castle Hill Peak to being awakened in Timaru with your big shake, you have shared your earthquakes with me. I saw the changes you made to the landscape and people’s lives in Christchurch – the empty suburbs and the empty white chairs. I was silenced by your awe.
Your scenic beauty seduced me – Lake Alta, Cable Bay, Tekapo, Mt Cook, Okarito, Karamea and the Franz Josef Glacier where I was so insignificant walking in your glacial valley which was filled with ice when I last visited 17 years ago.
I have met your people, felt their generosity, made new friendships and renewed some old ones. I found Aucklanders who have come south. I Lindy Hopped in Nelson, Modern Jived in Christchurch and ran in Timaru.
I learnt about cold, frosty days, what Matagouri is, where all the grains are grown. I saw roses, peonies and bees in your gardens, sadly the bees are no longer common in Auckland. I have a better understanding of your problems: the rabbits, the lupins – pink, purple, yellow and apricot, the Wilding Pines and I did miss the Keas.
Hello Te Ika A Maui, let’s see what you will bring in 2017.