8. The Morning After

But first, the brutal truth: Waking up on our first morning in our new home, I opened the bedroom curtains to the most magnificent view. From our bedroom window we see Kapiti Island, a big green lush park and 2 beautiful lakes. The house was warm, cosy and quiet with the children still in a deep peaceful sleep. Yet…when I opened those curtains and stared out into this exquisite land, I felt sick. I had a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach and felt a deep sense of sadness for all those I had left behind.

Just as soon as the feeling came, I made a decision to let go of it. This was normal. This was natural. This was the feeling I didn’t allow myself to feel in the chaos of it all… and I would be damned if I was going to deal with it this morning!

I made myself a cup of hot tea, a daily comfort that I am familiar with, and sat down on my bed, this time making every effort to appreciate the view from my bedroom window.

Not 5 minutes into enjoying my tea, I tilted my head to the direction of a rumbling sound. The sound grew nearer and then a mild jolt and our walls began to shake. A friend had told me of the high probability and likelihood of an earthquake in Wellington’s future. Surely this couldn’t be it?! A few seconds later and it was over. I laughed. I laughed at the little “tremor”, thinking “Yes, now…NOW we are in New Zealand”. Just one of many new experiences to come…

(I later found out that the “tremor” I felt earlier was the effect of a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that had occurred 100km from us. So I was not entirely paranoid. It was indeed an actual earthquake)

A while later the children raised their sleepy heads, but not long into the morning succumbed to their jet lag and one was found fast asleep on the floor in front of our gas fire. I didn’t have the heart to wake her – so I took a photo instead.

The rest of the day was spent sorting out some basic administrative tasks and fuelling up our bodies with food that, thank God, had not been prepared for consumption on an airplane!



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