Friday, March 10, 2006

Furthermore ....

Since we came home, people have asked us what we remember most vividly about our visit to NZ. I'd have to say that for me it was the space. For a start, there are only 4.1 million people in the country, 1.5 million of whom apparently live in Auckland. New Zealand has a land area slightly greater than the UK. Most of the walks we took, we met no-one. We saw few cars away from the main roads - and even they were peaceful. (They also made the Argyll roads feel like a test bed for rugged suspensions). There were a few busier areas - our hike to the glacier had us meet people on the path and at the top, and Queenstown was much busier than we'd become used to - but if we stayed in Central Otago it was possible to imagine that this was indeed the desert parts of it resembled.

With that came the space to think. After a week, I no longer felt the need to read "holiday fiction", and was able instead to finish the more demanding and inspirational book I had taken with me. I was able to reflect at length on what was happening around me, and to put it in context. Any demands being made on me were short-term and practical; there was no juggling of commitments and no feeling that I ought to be doing something else.

So: resolution from that? To try to do what needs doing and can be done, and to leave the rest. To take time to consider my surroundings and avoid being where I don't want to be. To avoid cluttering up my mind and my life with inessentials and rubbish. And above all, to appreciate the people whom life has given me, and to make sure they know it.

And maybe I'll get back to New Zealand some day!


  1. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Space to think... sounds like heaven and yet there are few reasons why we all shouldn't have that for at least a few hours a week (barring parents of small personages and carers, possibly. Distractions are rather too rife (and given the option of being too distracted or having a lot of thinking time I'd rather be distracted; being one of Thatcher's childer (yeuch!) I want it all, now) for there to be just TIME. I relish my commute to work - it may be on a smelly train but I've nothing else to do but think, read or sleep for a whole 20minutes each way.

    I'll be interested to hear how you progress with your resolution.

  2. Anonymous10:45 AM

    "maybe I'll get back to New Zealand" - damn well better! [Paul]

  3. Your resolution:

    On a similar theme I had John Kelly up at school on Friday concerned that he had heard I was struggling with life, the Universe and DHT/school work! John's great and really supportive and genuinely concerned.
    He was right, but could not offer any answers - only support - but to have friends who are willing to offer time to talk and listen is beyond price.

    Remember when you gave me that little card to cheer me up during a 'black' phase of my life? I think I need another one!

  4. I'll see what I can do, Don - starting with prayers.

  5. Anonymous1:13 PM

    I am also at that place of freedom... having time and space to be with people without having to watch the clock... walking without having a destination in mind... saying 'no' without feeling
    guilty... doing things that nourish the soul. It is a gift. Hold tight to it, Chris!