Appropriately for so called gypsy week here in New Zealand, we have joined hundreds of sharemilkers and their herds as they move to new farms, and shifted to a new home in sunny Nelson. Needless to say, we have no cows, but we do seem to have an inordinate amount of stuff and chaos reigns as we unpack and are faced with trying to reassemble ourselves in a very different house from the previous one.
This new home of ours is perched near the top of a valley, with trees in one direction, and a lovely view of the sea and mountains in front of us. It is very diverting. Every time I look up the light has changed, the sky is different, or the tide as gone out or come in…. I am never going to get anything done!
All this loveliness has come our way after deciding to up sticks and move to warmer, less stressful Nelson. We have had a very trying few years following the earthquakes in Christchurch, and our story is amongst the less distressing stories to be told. This last year has seen my husband take early retirement when the company he worked for restructured, and lots of work on our lovely villa in Christchurch before finally putting it on the market a couple of months ago. Our daughter and her family live here in Nelson, and they are expecting twins in August/September, so we have an added incentive to be here!
Leaving Christchurch has not been without its sadnesses, we have family there too, and I am going to miss my friends and all the folks at the Silversmiths’ guild as well. But it is an exciting new start after 20 or so years in one place, and I am looking forward to new inspirations, and new additions to our family to enjoy when they arrive. I am also anticipating lots of visitors coming to stay, and the chance to share the quietness and beauty of our new surroundings, and perhaps being able to bring a little refreshment from the worries in Christchurch.
It is remarkable what a difference it makes having faces that look back at you without the tight expressions we have become accustomed to. People are just going about their normal lives without too much on their minds, enjoying the day they find themselves in without the backlog of worries that Cantabrians are carrying. Even if your particular experience has been relatively easy, you are all too aware of those who still haven’t had their homes weather proofed, claims unsettled, and land and houses still suffering from flooding, subsidence, or slow collapse as they face their third winter without respite.
We are among the lucky ones, and I am grateful, but also feel sad and a little guilty, as if we are abandoning ship. A version of ‘survivor’s guilt’, perhaps. Sometimes knowing when it is time to go is as hard as knowing when it is time to stay.