A Love Letter

Today I’m writing from my mum’s house in Oratia. It’s a blustery day and the wind is wailing outside, in that way that used to drive me insane but now is almost comforting. I’ve missed this. The quiet, the green. This is, and always will be, my home.

Don’t get me wrong; the city is great. It’s great for convenience. It’s great for independence. It’s great for the minimal lifestyle that I’ve been trying to cultivate (with mixed results; damn you Recycle Boutique!). It is not, however, great for happiness. It’s loud, all the time. It’s busy. It’s claustrophobic. There’s nowhere I can be alone; at any given time our neighbours can walk out onto their balcony and see the entirety of our tiny studio apartment. For someone who needs quiet solitude to recharge my emotional batteries, it can be truly exhausting.

Last night, after a day of struggling to write anything of substance, feeling the walls closing in around me under the pressure of the city’s million or so scurrying occupants, I felt so homesick for my place in Oratia that I almost cried. Instead I made a haphazard version of my mum’s fish pie and ate it in bed, and almost cried again.

And today here I am. I’m a 40 minute train ride from the city centre, and yet it feels like a different world. The flax plants are waving their leaves like anemones in an ocean current; on a better day there would be Tui and Rosellas feasting among their flowers. Further away, the taller trees are as still and steady as they have ever been. I think many of them have been here longer than people have.

And here I am, writing from my heart in a way that I have not done for a long time. I am breathing in the good of this place, and breathing out the bad, all the stress and discomfit that has settled like poison in the bottom of my lungs. Reconnecting with everything that made me.

Here I am, Oratia. I’m home.

 

The Importance of Setting Small Goals

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It’s easy to come into a new year with ambitious goals like GET FIT™ or  CHANGE THE WORLD™. It’s also easy to fall short of those goals and into the PIT OF DISILLUSIONMENT® from whence there is no escape (until the next year, when the cry of “New Year, New Me!” gives you newfound buoyancy and raises you from perdition so you can start the whole dreadful business all over again). Continue reading “The Importance of Setting Small Goals”

Lessons from a Sloth

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Ah, the noble sloth. Leaf connoisseur, lethargic denizen of the trees, midwife of Cryptoses choloepi. There are many lessons to be learned from this majestic animal. A sloth lives most of its life in isolation, expending as little energy as possible, coming down from its tree only to poop, and, when they feel like getting a bit of action, a female sloth will scream incessantly until she attracts the attention of a male. Continue reading “Lessons from a Sloth”