|And look who met us in the airport in Palmerston North!|
For the first week, all was chaos. The decorating that was supposed to be finished before we came home turned out to be a bigger job than expected so furniture and books were spread randomly throughout the house. At work, our School had moved buildings: the contents of my previous office had been dumped in the middle of my (beautiful) new office in boxes, and I couldn't unpack because there were no shelves or filing cabinets.
Add to that the relentless, remarkable heat, a brand new puppy who cried on the first night and had to come into bed with us, and the worst case of jetlag Bruce and I have ever had and - well, it was challenging.
BUT within a week, everything had been restored to something close to order: our stunning new bookcase finished, wallpapering completed, office shelves put up and boxes unpacked, we had all fallen in love with Luca (who had agreed to sleep through the night but decided to continue his Reign of Destruction and Mayhem throughout the day).
|Who could not fall in love with this darling boy?|
On Sunday evening, Jenah came to join us - fresh home from Japan - and we had a girls' evening: a marathon viewing of Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version, naturally). Lizzy was decidedly not impressed by her namesake's initial rejection of Mr Darcy's proposal. "But he was trying to express his emotions!" she raged, " and he never has done that before, and he was really trying, and she was just MEAN!" - and nothing Elizabeth Bennett did after that could in any way win her round. In fact, she considered Lady Catherine de Burgh's comments quite reasonable. Hmmmm.
I feel - to use a very clumsy metaphor - as if I'm living in a split screen where one side is all soft pastels, muted edges and eerie shadows and the other is as golden and green and heat-hazy as a van Gogh painting. And in a way I've always lived like this, perhaps every immigrant does, always lived with two places simultaneously in my head and heart. Such a life could be seen as constantly living with absence and loss - always longing for that which is far away. But that's not entirely how I experience it. It's a richness, a great richness to live this way.