One of the most difficult tasks for travel writers must be writing about where they’re from. I’ve been back in Oratia for three days now and I’m still not sure how to write this blog entry. I guess I don’t notice the big picture here. Instead I notice the details: what’s changed and, perhaps to a lesser extent, what’s different from London.
I notice that my childhood hiding places have overgrown (though Matt and I can still fight our way in), the trees that are missing, the subdivision of the orchards up and down the road. I notice how blue the sky is, the heat of the sun - but I feel it’s unfair to say the weather’s great here, because I know of so many days when this hasn’t been the case. I notice how dry the land is, but remember all the mud. I’m told that, down the back, a cabbage tree has fallen over and that our creek now has a waterfall.
There’s so much space. I remember how that space was lonely sometimes.
Mum, Dad, Matt and I walked to the new Farmer’s Market yesterday morning and bought bread, salmon, honey on the comb. We ate icecreams and there was a band playing kiwi classics in the background. On the way home, the trees above the Folk Museum were turning red – just as they did every year when I was coming home from school.
And, even though we might not get to see it before we head to Australia on Tuesday, just being here lets me imagine Piha Beach: the black sand, the violent waves, the cliffs and the windy roads, writing my study notes in the sand while the boys were surfing.
Today, we’ll drive up to the lodge where we got married, where we planted a kowhai tree, surrounded by bush. We’ll catch up with old friends and maybe we’ll walk down the back, avoiding the weeds and the spaces where there used to be trees, and check out that waterfall.
I love this place. It’s hard to be a tourist here.No comments