A year on; still no direction home

It’s been a year since leaving home in a cavalcade of anger and fear. The date slipped by unnoticed some time last week. Nothing momentous to mark the occasion; there was no call to celebrate or otherwise mark the date.

Hitchhiking up the South Island on a gloriously clear autumn day, I caught a lift from the third car that passed. Two strangers, both Campbells, and a slobbering labrador; all the way to Christchurch in a single ride. Stopping at Tekapo it seemed as though Aotearoa was showing me her finest face and I was acutely aware of how much I would miss home.

I stayed the night in Christchurch, drinking a couple of boxes of beers with an old friend, trying to quash the queasiness over my imminent departure. An unhealthy cocktail of emotions and motivations made me think I would be happier elsewhere. As it turned out, I could get away from everything but myself.

A year of travel to a dozen countries. New friends, exciting experiences, schemes hatched then abandoned unincubated. Plans for the future. Home always in the back of my mind.

Tae a wairua te motu huia, O Tararua i runga.

Park Valley at dawn, Tararua ranges

In spirit do I visit the groves of the Huia, on Tararua, those mountains to the south.

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