I know … after not blogging for few months – here I come with a second post in three days!
Between you and me – consistency has never been my strong suit. I blame me it on restless and relentless mind! That in addition to a holiday season, meaning – some free time at last!
Now to the real reason for this post – in a word – sheer joy!
Yep – that’s right! As the popular song goes – ‘don’t believe me just watch!’ Or in our case – read, since, luckily, you can’t see me (luckily because I am typing this in my nighty and no it is not the one suitable for audiences!).
So why joy you may ask!
Shall I tell you? Oh, ok then here goes:
New Year has arrived to New Zealand’s shores already and with the spectacular fireworks over the Wellington harbour which I watched from my balcony with a glass of chilled Riesling in hand while trying to establish any kind of conversation with my daughter who was (judging by the noises over the phone) having hell of a good time with her mates in Queenstown (the suspicion has since been confirmed as true – good on her I say and can’t wait to see her tomorrow and hear all about it!).
Today (1 January 2016) was an absolutely amazing summer day! Living in Wellington you learn to appreciate and treasure such days like your family’s most precious heirlooms! So, just like everyone else, I trotted down to the beach and here is what I found there:
Well half of Wellington at least!
We all (that is to say who ever was perched on the sand next to you/passing by, etc) wished each other happy New Year and thank God (Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, etc.) for the weather. In our hearts of hearts, we all knew it would not last – so offering sincere gratefulness to our respective gods was in hope to prolong it even if just for a few more days!
Everyone ventured or was coaxed to swim (yours truly included -:)! As soon as sea reaches your ankles – shivering starts! Never mind that minor annoyance; with assorted degrees of speed and variations of; ‘oh isn’t it lovely once you get in’ – we all made it! Yours truly even swam past floating pontoons and small boats which, I will have you know, almost qualifies as swimming in the open sea!
On the way back from this glorious escapade, I climbed on the tiny space still available on the pontoon and indulged in listening sounds. Yes, sounds – not words or snippets of conversations. No one person spoke in English! Amongst lively conversations and laughter, I could recognize German, Italian, Spanish, French and most likely Chinese.
I will take the risk of sounding rather cheese here – but I truly felt overwhelmed by joy and gratefulness in that moment … for so much;
For being alive and reasonably healthy,
For New Zealand … this tiny speck of dirt in the mighty Pacific ocean;
- where total strangers will ask you to come ‘over for a drink’ for no other reason but because it is Christmas/New Year,
- where you can leave your belongings safely on the beach for hours without a fear of losing them,
- where people from all over the world come to stay and are made welcome regardless of their religion, race, sexual orientation,
- where there are no drone strikes,
- no crazed members of Islamic State threatening to cut my, or anyone’s else head off,
- no famine (ocean is brimming with fish if all else fails),
- no recession (not like seen elsewhere in any case),
- no Donald Trump trying to take the country over and, rumour has it – Vladimir Putin may not even know we are on the planet (thank God),
- where my daughter can go to University without fear of being taken hostage or killed.
I do love you New Zealand!
Have a Happy, Safe and Peaceful 2016 Everyone!
In a words of an old Greek: ‘Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.’ (Epicurus)
Thank you everyone for reading the Lantern!