I’m currently sitting in Sydney airport on a ten hour layover waiting for my flight to Christchurch.
When I left New Zealand in July on a one-way ticket, I wrote these words in my July blogpost:
And now my winter comes to an end as I transit back to the Florida summer. My dad has become quite ill in the short period of time that we’ve been back in NZ and I fear his time may be drawing near. So I’m off again for an indefinite period leaving Bruce and Nina behind to kept things ticking along at home. The wheel of life, as the change of seasons, keeps on turning, whether we are cognizant of it or not. Right now I am ever so aware of the present delicious moments that make life so wonderful. I am grateful to you, my friends and family, for making my life so rich and worthwhile!
One hundred and forty-eight days later, the circle has come around for me, like the seasons. I’ve now left the San Francisco winter for the warm days of New Zealand summer. My father died, my niece born, bound together by an invisible thread. Bearing witness to both, I’ve been taken on a magical journey, observing and experiencing the miracle of life and death in a short period. So much has happened, so many feelings to process; I am changed, yet I am not sure anyone would notice looking at me on the outside.
My three months in Florida, two weeks in Peru, and five weeks in San Francisco afforded me many enriching experiences, sharing laughter, silliness, and conversation with new and old friends alike.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so the saying goes, so here’s a sampling of my many encounters with those I cherish:
Hanging with friends, big and small:
Hiking in gorgeous Marin County:
Getting quality time with my niece Sienna. Joy & I took her bowling, to a ballet class, and to her Montessori school celebration of the Circle of Lights. Plus we got a lot of putzing around the house time, being cozy in our pj’s!
Living with the family, I spent a lot of time with Joy, David, and Sienna which included a special moment when we created a ‘living’ altar in honor of my dad in their backyard. Sienna and I would go around the neighborhood clipping flowers and berries and then putting them around a tree in their yard. We also did a small ceremony of spreading dad’s ashes. I’ve told Sienna it’s a place where we can go sit and remember happy thoughts about ‘papa’ as well as give thanks for all that we have around us. She and I had a daily ritual of lighting an incense stick and bringing it outside to the altar.
My last encounter was with my newest niece, Haylie, where we did a bit of nose rubbing to say hello to each other!
And so I close as I did in July with these words: I am grateful to you, my friends and family, for making my life so rich and worthwhile.