Recently, we attended an appropriately socially distant party with the people residing on the campus of The Outdoor Academy. We laughed and danced as if the world was normal again. It was the most enjoyable time I have yet had with my fellow faculty members and their families. They are a remarkable group of people. I will miss them and this place.
I think about what it would be like to remain here. My job is pretty gratifying on most days. It is an amazing community of people, but one that is ever-changing. Some of my favorite members of the community will soon be moving on. Like all things, we can’t hold on too tightly. But still, sometimes I wish I could pick this whole place up, fold it neatly to avoid wrinkling it and pack it in my bag to take with me to New Zealand. If it wasn’t for New Zealand, I think I could stay here for a long time.
But New Zealand is calling us back. We called her first, but she answered. We have stepped back into a current that will wash this version of our life away and deposit the remains somewhere downstream. Or in this case, across an ocean. Fortress New Zealand. Which seems like as good a place as any to wait out what sometimes feels like the end of the world.
Saying goodbye. It felt like that party was the beginning of it. The knowledge that we are one step closer to leaving brings everything into sharper relief making the colors and contours of life more visible.
What will our life there bring? It’s usual joys and sorrows, but what shape will they take? Will we decide to settle down and live out our days there? Will we look around us five years from now and find a community around us?
It’s going to be hard. Sometimes in the excitement of thinking about jaw-dropping vista’s and quirky cafés, it’s easy to forget that it is difficult being so far away from the people you love. But if we persevere, maybe we can reach the day when we can spend some significant amount of time in the States every year to be near our friends and family. Maybe we can live the dream.
Knowing that we will be separated from our people wraps me in sadness. The waves are coming. They are always present but these big life events amplify them. Happy. Sad. Glad. Mad. Up to the crest and down into the trough.
In New Zealand, winter is coming. We’re running right towards it even as our bodies and minds are just now getting accustomed to spring. Will our bio-rhythms ever catch up with our movement?