Eight years ago when my life-partner and I began our relationship it was full of magical moments; so much so that my eighty eight year old mother proclaimed, "You really need to write a book and get this all down." There were magical moments before but I must admit, in the last eight years the universe has brought gifts at every turn. That is not to say there have not been difficult times as well, but typically the gifts of those painful times eventually reveal themselves.
In the past week I have continued to meet wonderful, kind and welcoming people. Just yesterday I coffee'd with the WINGS group of transplants from all over the world. A kind and gentle older Polish woman who lives in the oldest house in Parua Bay, on the waterfront, invited us to come for tea. We were able to stop by for a bit and see her exquisite ginger bread house and we left with the instruction for Atticus to call her Babscia- "grandma" in Polish.
Atticus and I then fulfilled an invitation to meet with 3 other women and 5 children and he was introduced to school mates he will be with at his new Parua Bay School on Monday. Today we went to one of my new acquaintance's art shop where artists have studio space in the back and Atticus was asked to help a local artist, Kathy, with her awesome sand painting. Out of that was an invitation to go to her house after I drop Atticus off at school and then she would take me on a walk to yet another beach in our area (yes, another neighbor and yes another beach). This was after meeting with 3 women on Thursday to hike in the area close to our new home and discovering 2 more beautiful beaches and learning that all three of them happened to be my neighbors as well.
My good friend has been humming the theme of The Twilight Zone to me since our first trip in December when these serendipitous events were making themselves known (like our husbands realizing over breakfast one morning they had been in the same play in med school- they hadn't known they were in med school together until the first phone call about the position). Da da da da, Da da da da.
On Friday Atticus and I were at the "cool park" and he bonded with a little boy; his mother and I began chatting. She was Irish although I wouldn't have known from her accent; she had traveled and lived all over the world. She shared how, out of obligation, she tried to live in Ireland again, "but it had changed and I had changed . . . and then I realized that I really don't see my family or friends that often and I was spending all my time planning trips to get out of Ireland . . ." She gave birth to her son at 45 so we had that life experience in common; she happened to be tremendously kind and friendly and told me how as a teacher she decided to homeschool her son who has never seen TV and only watched 2 movies in his life and how she and her husband have become organic avocado farmers. They are part of the WWOOF program (google it) and would love to have our older kids come work and stay with them. She has insisted that when Stephen gets here, we make the trip an hour south and go visit them. I can't wait. About moving to New Zealand: "You are going to think you've gone to heaven, this is the most laid back and beautiful place in the world," she stressed.
Then there is the long term rental in the best imaginable place ever, and Mike the helpful, helpful neighbor that liaises with the owner who lives in Paris to manage the property and knows everything Kiwi and will show us the great fitness walks at our doorstep, and all the must see places and the best fishing (this is THE land of the best fishing). If I go on and describe the farm share situation of our rental and the view and the orchard where we have access to fruit abundant 12 months a year, and the bay access, and did I say the views? Yep, well you just wouldn't believe we could have found a rental there. I still can't.
I've Skyped and iChatted and texted and phone chatted with my family and have had the first experience of someone I love going through an impossible time while I'm on the other side of the world, but with all those interactions I continue to feel a profound sense of connection and for that I am grateful.
I'm proud of myself. I'm missing my soulmate but I'm doing the best I can to lay a foundation here that will ease his transition as well. Atticus and I have, of course, had some intensely fun bonding time and the little guy, ninth of nine, deserves that in this lifetime.
I have a calendar where I cross off the days. Ten days until my heart and soul arrives, but I'm grateful for the gift of seeing, while so far away from those I've been physically connected with: I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and gosh darn it, people like me.
Photos from today's exploration (and my trusty iPhone with no enhancements, filters, etc.):
We can also see this from our new house. It is said to be extremely sacred ground for the Maori and Chiefs were laid to rest on the rocks upon their death. The following is a quote I found regarding the lore about what the rock outcroppings represent:
"The area is in the Ngati-wai Tribal area. There are many legends of Manaia and most of them have aspects of infidelity, but this is my favourite. Manaia came home from fishing one day, maybe using his causeway (in Taurikura Bay near the Ody Road corner). He found that his slave who was supposed to be mending the fishing nets had been enjoying the company of his wife. Manaia, in a rage, threw the slave and the fishing net down the front of the mountain and he, his wife and 3 children were turned into the prominent rocks on the top of the mountain.The slave and the fishing nets are obvious rocks among the trees at the front."
Ocean Beach- another gift find
The boy that thought he wasn't really into oceans today took about 2 minutes to strip his clothes off to frolic.
He still has his sense of humor. Unfortunately the sun is too bright to see the ocean view behind us as we had a late lunch at "The Deck." Small little cafes are full of treasures.
Mussel Fritters. Yum