Wellington is known for its wind and it’s something that I have a love / hate relationship with. It can make me feel alive and refreshed, or knocked down and eroded like a well worn cliff-face. It takes stamina to live in Wellington and a mental strength that I don’t always have. Before we had children, back in the day, from 1997 (when we first landed in NZ, as a young British expat couple) to 2003, we would counterbalance our feelings of craziness at the wind, with frequent weekend trips away from the capital city. We managed to stay relatively sane (good coffee and wine helped too!).
Roll on to the parenthood years and the wind, combined with the added expense of travelling with children (and the hassle), and a whole heap of sleep deprivation, it became harder to escape. I went just a bit crazy for a while. Anti-depressants helped (I’m serious), and still do (just a mild dose, but I’m okay with that), as well as regular exercise in the fresh air (if I couldn’t beat it, I might as well surrender to it!). In the in-between days, and calm between the weather fronts, I would have to get out the door – anywhere – with the children, the beach, a playground, the gardens, the waterfront, a garden centre even, to stay sane.
Now the children are older and (after a few years homeschooling and a stint living in Southern California) all at school, it’s easier for me to run regularly. I have found this the best medicine for my mental and physical well-being. There are times when the whistling of the wind around the house and constant motion of everything out of the window starts to drive me mad – but, when I get out the door (grimacing initially) I soon find my fight and spirit (there’s a whole lot of inner voice, positive talking going on at the same time!).
The other way I deal with the tumultuous feelings the wind creates in me, is to write (I also play the piano, loudly, to try and ignore the whistling and howling outside!).
Anyway, here’s a little poem I wrote the other week, after around five days of non-stop wind, and feeling hugely appreciative of the STILL afterwards…