Saturday, March 25, 2006


Longing: n. a yearning desire; adj. having or showing such desire.
This morning I woke up and began breakfast but as I prepared it I felt a real longing for New Zealand. It took me some time to understand that it had rained in the night and in opening the window, I had let in the scent of rain on the Birch forest below the apartment; a scent I had grown with back home in New Zealand.

But perhaps it was more than the Birch ... Hone Tuwhare's poem 'Rain' explains some of my love of it. He mentioned how it is when it falls on hot black asphalt on a summers day but not how it smells in Fiordland's beech forests after rain ... how it is to wake on a rain-washed morning and only smell Nature.

This morning, I woke up and smelled New Zealand and I'm missing my home. Did I ever write of New Zealand?
There are the facts: she is 268,201 sqkms, rumoured to be close to the size of Italy or Colorado. There is 15,134kms of coastline and so many stunning beaches; not only that, there's a beach for every mood. Wild seas and swimming seas, sandy or stony beaches, wild dramatic shores or gentler places where penguins and seals make their colonies. The lowest point is 0m and Mount Cook is our stunning high at 3,754 m. We have volcanoes and earthquakes, and in 2005 there were just 4,035,461 people. We're more used to living in our own houses as opposed to apartment buildings and we're rumoured to be a friendly culture.

Since living in other places the return home has become a mixture of longings satisfied ... from the moment I fly over the Southern Alps to the second I smell the air, there's this powerful sensation of home-coming. Then there is the process of reconnecting to the land ... the rivers, the sea and that first beach walk next to the Pacific Ocean or Tasman Sea; the reclaiming of old haunts, an immersion in the places that shaped me.

I long for many things and maybe it is those things that flavour my life, add piquancy to the everyday ... an awareness of people and places I miss, a need to go home, or to revisit Istanbul, a desire to immerse my Self in all that I have loved or might love.

And so it is that this morning it is New Zealand I miss.


The Wandering Turk said...

Wonderful poem - thank you for sharing. I lived in Germany for 2.5 years and one of the things I always had a problem with was the cold. It seems to have bored itself deep in the bones of everyone. I remember it was easy to get depressed. Maybe I'm being melodramatic but the Germans I meet overseas seem so thawed out. It's one of the things I think about as I ponder moving again. I think I would have to be travelling very often to want to live in Northern Europe.

woman wandering said...

Perhaps it does affect the psyche of the people ... New Zealand is cold but I've never been so chilled as I am here in the winter. They get the Siberian dry freeze here and it's stunning.

I love Hone Tuwhare's poetry ...

Anonymous said...

I love what Wandering Woman wrote... I too miss New Zealand, especially in the company of Wandering Woman herself! She is a fantastic hostess and made me see the most fabulous country in the whole world! Thank you Wandering Woman... Guess who!

woman wandering said...

Lol, thanks ML ... I could hear your laughter in the comment.