Loving… New Zealand You Have My Heart

Wherever this life of mine takes me, I feel certain I’ll always have a pull to New Zealand. I fell in love on the first visit, as I flew from Auckland to Wellington taking in the expanse of green, undulating land, surrounded by ocean.

Geographically it is so far away from the rest of the world, the last stop before Antarctica, a four hour flight from Australia – the closest large, land mass. It’s so young in history and its land volatile and changing – sitting, as it does, on the ring of fire.

After a couple of wild weather days this week (bringing¬†heavy snow to the South Island – and power cuts to some)…

NewZealand_460x230

PHOTO | NASA

This was the scene that greeted me yesterday – less than a twenty minute walk from my front door.

Seaward Kaikoura ranges from Wellington's southcoast

It was a magical scene, with the snow covered Kaikoura ranges of the South Island on the horizon line.

The clarity of the light and blueness of the sky almost too good to be true. A sky-scape of brilliant blue, with only a spattering of clouds to play, ‘Spot the bird, dolphin and dragon.’

As my youngest child napped in the back of the car, I drove along the coast road with my six year old daughter smiling at the scenery. We drove off-road, through puddles, over rocks, seaweed and pebbles. The sweeping south coast is rugged and spectacular, wild and sometimes ominous. The ship wrecks hidden in the depths of the Cook Strait haunt the waves. But life is ever present, in the gulls that circle in the air currents and the seals that haul themselves out onto the rocks for the winter months.

Earlier in the day we’d visited our local Zoo. We didn’t see another person for the first twenty minutes of our visit. We followed the roar of the male lions, basking in the sun on the rocks overlooking the hilly terrain of Wellington.

Basking in the winter sun at Wellington Zoo

They were full of life and energy, roaming around after one another. We couldn’t believe our good fortune when one stopped to sit by the glass viewing window. He sat so calmly, looking directly at us in turn. His eyes so peaceful and wise, disguising his truly powerful, potentially deadly, physic. He almost had us believe we were completely safe in his presence (the bullet proof glass helped!).

IMG_2315

It was as though we were enjoying a private audience with Aslan himself.

IMG_2314

He closed his eyes, welcoming us into his presence, peaceful after the wild, thunderous storms. Storms that masked the transit of Venus, but made us think of the awesomeness of our solar system and create our own fictional planet.

Sophie's fictional planet

Storms that kept us rugged up indoors, with sniffles and coughs, watching the transit of Venus thanks to technology, and reflecting that nearly 250 years ago, when the planet Venus made a rare pass between Earth and the sun, James Cook, the intrepid British explorer, sketched the celestial scene from the island of Tahiti in the South Pacific.

During his first voyage around the world, Cook drew the various stages of the transit of Venus as it appeared from Tahiti on June 3, 1769.

Capt. James Cook made these sketches of the Venus transit as it appeared on June 3, 1769, in Tahiti.

Capt. James Cook made these sketches of the Venus transit as it appeared on June 3, 1769, in Tahiti.

It’s been a short week, after the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, of ups and downs, wild weather and sunshine, baking and naps on the couch, painting and making play dough – but that’s what keeps life interesting.

Recently Updated901

How could life be anything other than interesting, keeping up with my three beautiful daughters – each so very unique and all so fortunate to be New Zealand born.

Me and my girls Queens Birthday Bank Holiday Monday at Scorching Bay

Feeling very ready for the weekend now, with our nasty colds nearly all cleared up. Sunshine Friday! Have a great weekend!

_______________________________________________

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for… no matter how simple it is.