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It never rains but it … blows

So in Wellington this week we have had a significant earthquake, followed by something in the vicinity of 1600 aftershocks. While this brought about mayhem in the central business district due to damage, this was followed by a LOT of rain and consequently flooding and more aftershocks.  This morning is bright and sunny (yay!) but unfortunately not supposed to last as another weather event is on it’s way, currently hitting the middle of the South Island and due to reach us this afternoon/evening bringing heavy rain and southerly gale-force winds with a severe weather watch having been issued for much of the central South Island through to central North Island.

OK, so it’s been an interesting week so far… but as I previously said, we have so much to be grateful for and things could have been so much worse than they were. Feeling positive and optimistic, I’ll leave you with some happy photos from around my city.

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The Animals Closest to my Heart

I recently shared a post called My Small Companion  about our dog.Recently I’ve been learning about editing my photos – altering colours, using filters etc and have been playing with a number of my existing photos.  Today I want to share some photos I’ve been playing around with of our 2 pets: a cat called Scout, and a dog called Fido. I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I do 🙂

Kia Kaha

kia-kaha

Kia Kaha is a Maori phrase used in New Zealand and it means “be strong” or “stay strong”. It is used as an affirmation, as a term of comfort or solace (an equivalent of be strong – my thoughts are with you) and is sometimes used as a valediction at the end of messages.  It became popular through it’s use by the 28th Maori Battalion during World War II. You’ll find it in books and songs, in poetry and used as a motto.

This is purely my opinion, but it seems to me that in the past twenty-five to thirty years, we New Zealanders have become more aware of our history, our nation, the beauty that we have here, and as our sense of belonging and identity has grown, so has our sense of national pride. As such kia kaha is a term that is often used to encourage those representing New Zealand to the world. My interpretation is that it has come to mean this:

        ‘stay strong, your brothers and sisters in New Zealand are here with you;                                                 you have our support, and we have your back’

I think it’s fair to say that when we see our national rugby team, the All Blacks perform the  haka (traditionally a Maori war cry or challenge) we have a sense of identity, of pride, of something at an emotional level that says “this is part of my homeland, this is part of my identity” even though I am a New Zealander but not of Maori heritage. Such is the sense that “this is part of who I am” that it can, and often does, evoke an emotional response when a New Zealander abroad is confronted with a haka (often performed as an honour towards the person/team/group for whom it is given).

From my perspective this is a wonderful thing – it’s not a nasty overt sense of pride (like a desire to dominate the world), it’s simply an acknowledgement that ‘this is from my homeland; it relates to my sense of belonging; my place in the world’ regardless of where I am currently living.

I am proud to be a kiwi (a New Zealander) and I am proud of my country – it’s identity, it’s beauty, it’s belief in itself – we were the first country to give women the vote, and in the 1980’s we stood up to the world and said no to nuclear ships entering our waters. We are small but we know our mind. We have a sense of honour and value and respect for our country and it’s history and it’s peoples, regardless of where they are from.

To my online friends I offer these words: kia kaha – be strong.

 

Freedom

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lone seagull marks the passage of distance and time

as one day stretches – fluidly – into another

transparent transition

on the arbitrary continuum we call time

 

the seagull knows no minutes, no miles,

only endless space

infinite seclusion in life’s magnificent wilderness

this latitude – his very own portion of eternity

isolated, calm, content, at ease

continuous forward motion

the thrill of the avian arrow

joyous solitude, alive and purposeful

living the aspiration we call

freedom