Not Joni Mitchell

  Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone- Joni Mitchell

We leave to go back to the states on the 20th, so I have just a week left in New Zealand. The time here has gone by too fast. My time in New Zealand over the past 11 weeks has been fantastic. A good day for me? When I know what is in front of me won’t last forever, and I need to relish the moment and celebrate how fleeting all of life actually is.

I’m going to miss:

The sunsets in Ahipara- Nothing quite like it back home. It is soul-healing to just sit, watch the waves rolling into the beach, the sky turning pinks and purples and all types of orange, and listen to the sea. If the world was required to spend a half hour on my deck (glass of wine optional), I know we would find world peace.

Bike rides through the countryside- Riding through pastures filled with cows and sheep and wildflowers is so zen. I don’t care that my butt gets sore, or that I get sunburned, or that I am exhausted. I am relaxed and breathing and it’s just the best feeling. Last night, John and I took our last beach ride before sunset. We are going to miss the expansive sense of riding on the sand, rolling through the River of Souls legs outstretched, and crunching seashells.  The ride back is always brutal against the wind, but still a great workout. We got home wet, full of sand, and happy.

Hiking through Kauri forests- Something about being in the middle of the forest, listening to birds, makes me feel like I am walking with God. The New Zealand forests hold so many beautiful surprises-  finding a hidden waterfall,  a river gorge,  being followed by a little fantail bird. Then you come around a bend, and a giant Kauri tree is silently standing guard over the forest.

The friendliness of Kiwis-  Half the time, I don’t know what is being said to me despite the fact that they are speaking English, but they sure are nice! Even when I obviously don’t know what they said, they are too polite and nice to point it out. When they ask “how are you?”, they literally look at you and wait for a real answer.

The sound of the ocean-  I love the sound of the rainstorm on the roof, the birds singing every morning at the crack of dawn, and kids laughing down at the beach. But the rhythmic roar of the waves beats it all!

Horses- Several horses live down the road from me. I love watching them play and chase each other, and they like my carrots. The best week was when Eugene was born. We had an obese horse that always stood in this one pasture, and she was expecting. Her name is Josephine (named after Napoleon’s wife) and when she had her foal, the old man (Josephine’s owner) named him Eugene (Josephine’s first child). I hope they are here next year!

My prayer, when we arrived, was that I honor my time in New Zealand by appreciating everything. I think my prayer has been answered.

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