I lived in a far away land called Aotearoa. The clouds moved quickly across the sky in winter, bringing on sudden and short-lived bursts of rain before the sun came screaming back through in a futile attempt to warm up the earth and homes. But then the summer came and the skies reflected nothing but blue; the only white you could see was the sails from the boats off the coast.
There were black sand beaches that left their mark on my shower floor as I washed off the Pacific salt. And little pink flowers on trees that made my throat itch when the wind blew their pollen through my bedroom window. The summer water was calm and warm. It stretched beyond anything I knew, punctured by volcanic islands.
It was never home. Still, I found a home in friends who always talked in the interrogative and ate marmite and avocado sandwiches. So many years later, we met on my home coastline. It makes what feels normal seem a little magical, just like that “land of the long white cloud.”
Me and my favorite Kiwi, Fairlie, hiking Torrey Pines on the coast of La Jolla: