I had to ask Heather to pull over as she expertly navigated her car across the narrow gravel road leading to White’s Bay. Even as we were appraoching the hill, I was lost in nostalgia. Not that I have spent much time at all in the Blenheim area, but because the dry, hot, windswept environment reminded me of the MacKenzie Country in central Otago. I had spent every summer holidays camping with the extended family at Lake Benmore near Twizel as I grew up. Those holidays felt like months long. Completely carefree. Although I’m sure that Dad wouldn’t have been able to take more than a few weeks off work. Perhaps one of my relatives reading this entry can tell me how long on average we would spend camping?
In anycase, it was magical to be taken back in time. Heather pulled over on the verge, and I took in the view.
What the image above does not show is the white snow-capped peaks of the Kaikoura Mountains in the distance. The view was spellbinding. “This is dangerous,” I said to Heather.
“You keep saying that,” she replied. “Why is it dangerous?”
It is dangerous because I am rediscovering the amazing beauty of my homeland. It is dangerous because it reminds me how wonderful it would be to live here. And that is dangerous because I still have so much desire to work and live overseas. Seeing this creates a tension inside of me. A tension between wanting to remain here forever, and wanting to still experience life overseas, and wanting to do all that at once, if that makes any sense at all…
Right now I have so many options I feel are available to me in terms of how to move forward. What a wonderful luxury. The only thing I can do to relieve this pressure of choice is to be thankful for the options. Thank God, thank whoever…just thanks. We are spoiled for choice here in the western world, and I think we often take that for granted, letting that reality stress us out too much.
As for one option I have been considering for a long time, I was greatly encouraged and enlightened by Heather and her workmates at a pot-luck dinner we attended tonight. Friends of Heather’s, Larry and Kim from Ontario, Canada, invited friends over for a slide show of their recent family holiday in the North Island. I was in a home full of teachers, and I got some very interesting perspectives on what excites those in the profession, and also what doesn’t excite them, of course.
So big thanks to everyone involved. A very loverly evening.