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Thursday, June 9, 2011


Today I’m going to share that I’m a Kiwi girl. It slipped out in yesterday’s post, so I thought I’d run with that. I’m a born and bred Kiwi, with a beautiful Lyn of Tawa accent.

Isn’t she just wonderful?! I love her naivety and her fresh, open trust that what she shares will be accepted by those listening to her. I really relate to that part of her. And those wonderful Kiwi vowels! If you could hear me, you’d hear all of those! As my ear has grown more accustomed to hearing different vowels, I've paid greater attention to where my own come from. Over time, I've wondered if vowels are the result of different places that we see the world from. I've found that when I'm truly in my Kiwi-vowels, then I see a different world out there. For me, my more inward-oriented vowels come from and lead to a more soulful, reflective and private place. Now I'm surrounded by more outwardly oriented Australian vowels and they are starting to grow in me, I find they are drawing out a different part of who I am. Maybe a more sociable part.

Central Otago was where I grew up. Bluer than blue skies, scorching summers, and an annual rainfall of 360mm (that’s not much). Population of about 4,000, a Blossom Festival and winters of ice skating on the natural ice of Manorburn Dam. I carry such warmth and fondness in my heart for those years, and the wonder of all the freedom and camaraderie of that special community. When I was 15 our family relocated to Christchurch, and that was my home till about 4 years ago when we moved to Melbourne.

For me, Melbourne is like a grown-bigger Christchurch. The two cities pulse to the same beat of the arts and culture. The older, leafy eastern suburbs of Melbourne are so like the inner heart of demure Christchurch that I sometimes forget which city I’m in. We’ve been fortunate to have returned to Christchurch mid-year and at Christmas each year we’ve been here, so all that is Christchurch is fresh and alive in me. Sadly, this year we have decided not to go back mid-year, and maybe not even at Christmas. The horrible shaking and quaking dear Christchurch is still experiencing is a bit much for us to think of going back to. Four was very unsettled by the big Boxing Day shake we experienced when we were there at Christmas.  Until now, I’ve never really felt homesick, maybe because I’ve always known I will be back again soon. However, knowing we won’t be there this year brings heaviness and a deep ache to my heart. I suspect I’m grieving for rupture in my connection to Christchurch.

What about you? I’m quite fascinated now by how others have experienced moving countries or even big inter-country moves. How did you find your move?

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