My thoughts and this life have felt pretty wound up until recently. It’s been hard to know what to tell you and how. I’m not sure whether things are unfolding finally now, or whether I’ve just come to accept things for what they are – but either way, I’ve finally room in me to write again.
It’s winter here now, but I want to share some photos of the past few months. We had an amazing summer and autumn. The kind of summer that felt like it stretched right through to a few weeks ago. The kind where we’d go for pizza with the kids, and still being hot afterwards, walk through the trees and down to the sea for an evening splash before bed.
We’ve found ourselves settling in Raumati South, a seaside village a little less than an hour north of Wellington, that looks out on Kāpiti Island. It’s suiting us well and we hope to buy a home here.
Hoping and doing being two very different things. The house market at the moment is pretty difficult, as there is not a lot for sale. I say not a lot for sale, and what I actually mean is it’s the lowest recorded number of properties for sale EVER. So we’ve been staying in a bach (a holiday cottage), with our belongings in storage whilst we peruse a disappointingly thin real estate section. It sounds totally fine when I write it out like that, but this hiatus, when we are all craving a place to moor at, has been rather unwelcome.
This extended lesson in patience was neither ordered or wanted but here it is.
I suppose it is because we’ve arrived home, but don’t yet have a home. I was getting pretty tied up in knots about it, but this life, and Albie’s heart, have an uncanny knack of putting things in perspective.
He had his heart repair checked a month or so ago. An echo, an ECG, an Xray. He rolls with them all like a seasoned professional, even choosing to pull the very-sticky, very-ouchy ECG stickers off his skin himself.
They spent aaaaages comparing his last check with his latest one – which was unnerving.
And the Rastelli repair is still looking pretty good. Not quite as good as it was, but still pretty good. His pulmonary valve is starting to regurgitate a little bit more than it was, which they expect to happen. If you want to know what valve regurgitation is, this video explains it simply. The valve regurgitation will get worse between now and the next surgery but for now he is still running cross country with all his might.
They also noted that the blood flow through his replacement pulmonary valve and artery has increased in pressure too. This is also expected as he grows out of it and closer to his next one.
So despite the seriousness of both of these changes, neither change is of any great concern right now. The cardiologist was of the view that Albie won’t be facing more open heart surgery for at least two more years, and possibly even longer. It all just depends on how fast he grows and how quickly those pressures change.
All of which is a long way of saying, buying a house is small fry, when you’re in a room with four medical coats discussing when your young boys’ heart will be cut open again.
Albie’s heart continues to keep life in perspective in a way that I never expected – but for which I am grateful.
And so, home, whilst not quite here yet, is indeed where this heart is.
In this (new zea)land and light, we find our feet.
Land, Sea and Sky. Empty landscape photos litter my phone.
It is quieter here, much calmer here. It’s so striking after the hubbub of the UK.
So much space.
It’s what I missed, and it’s what I know and love. Life is easier here, in this wide, open air – and family and friends have made coming home so sweet. I’ve a lot to tell you about them. I’ll get to that.
But at exactly the same time as moving back to New Zealand is wonderful, we are a tiny bit nostalgic for the wet and grey that we left behind. There is no Merlin in the woods here, no fog on a castle, no haze on the distant hills. We have such fond thoughts for that dark, old landscape and for all the specials that live there too.
There’s nary a stone wall or a cup of tea with the boys’ Grandma, to be seen here. What we wouldn’t give for one of those.
If you know how to teleport, please let me know.