I‘ve written about where I grew up several times in the past few years. I’ve described the rural Far North of New Zealand in terms of my family home (Journey north), in terms of the region I identify as home (Where I’m from) and in terms of my national identity (My home is green and gold).
These posts represent several attempts to remember, understand and pay tribute to my roots from my current perspective as an ex-pat living “across the ditch” (i.e. the Tasman Sea, which separates New Zealand from Australia). I don’t really have anything new to add to what I’ve already said. These days I’m aware that the feeling of displacement is gradually sinking into the background of my day-to-day life. It’s been nearly five years and I’m comfortable here, it’s true. Yet it only takes one deep lungful of sweet kiwi air to remind me of where I am supposed to be.
At home, I am less likely to take photos that I’m unhappy with – I’m not sure why. Maybe my camera works better in the softer light. Maybe my memories fill in the imperfections. Maybe it’s just so achingly beautiful that all I need to do is frame and shoot. One morning when we were home for Christmas last December I struggled out of bed early (still a bit jet-lagged) and wandered about with my camera. The dawn was clear and golden. The river moved slowly. The air was still and the animals were curious. No one else was up. It was a perfect hour and mine alone.