Bloom or wilt?

So, the phrase “bloom where you are planted” has really been on my mind lately. As usual, we visit a beautiful place, and I long to move. I long to wake up to beauty everyday, not just on vacation. So the question arises, shouldn’t I learn to be content wherever I am? I don’t know. I honestly don’t. My senses feel so dull in Ohio. There’s simply not a lot of beauty there. I know my father would disagree, as would many other die-hard midwesterners. But, I don’t see it. Sure, I see occasional glimpses… a beautiful autumn day, Spring blossoms, even an ice storm can be beautiful for a while. But as a whole, Ohio is not inspiring. So the next question is, well should I just travel more. Learn to be content, but get beauty fixes elsewhere. Is that practical? Does it make sense? Maybe. Ohio is affordable. We have money to travel that we might not have in a more expensive area. And the kids… what’s best for them? It’s all very, very complicated.

New Zealand

The beauty here leaves me speechless. It’s too much to process… one scene following another too quickly to take it all in. This morning I looked out to high tide… beautiful diffused light with blue mountains in the distance, golden grass in the foreground and the kids kayaking in the middle of it all… too much. I felt so full. How do I leave this and go back to Ohio? Beauty inspires… there’s no doubt in my mind I’ve felt so inspired here. My soul feels nourished…

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The girls are so funny… they’ve been making videos… Isabel as Happy Feet on a glacier… Isabel as a dead fish on a hike… really hilarious…

Gabe is an awkward teen… one minute acting like a young man, the next like a young boy. So painful to watch sometimes… it’s a tough process, growing up.

Things to Remember

Walking on Rabbit Island at sunset

Picking up fish and chips at Mapua Wharf/Holding Todd on the wharf as we waited

Candlelit dinners…. every night

Hot outdoor baths beneath a starlit sky

Crisp, sweet apples right off the tree

Hanging clothes under the warm sun… looking out at the mountains and estuary

Purple sky and clouds on the way home from Rabbit Island

Seal pups at Farewell Spit

Standing on Franz Josef glacier

Sitting near the warm fire knitting/reading/sipping wine

Flat whites every morning at the Naked Bun

Rhythms

Evenings are my favorite. We make a simple meal… soup/bread/salad… light candles (why don’t we do this at home?) and talk about our day’s adventures or other things. It feels so simple here, just being together. After dinner, I play scrabble with Gabe, Amelia knits, Isabel blogs… the cottage feels so safe and warm. I feel so content. 

My project was cancelled. I feel so much lighter, even though I don’t know how we’ll travel this fall if I don’t work. It’s just such an energy drain. I need to find joy in other endeavors. It looks like I’ll be staying on a week by myself as Todd has to return to work sooner than expected. I hope to explore some art classes and really dig deep. I really don’t miss Granville. I feel like I want a fresh start. I want to live someplace beautiful, where I’m less defined, freer to expand and grow in new directions. 

We hiked at gorgeous Abel Tasman yesterday… the kids plunged into the icy water and had a ball. I love to see their spirits so full of joy and adventure. So willing to go for it. Amelia’s taking lovely photos with her new camera. They all seem happy right now, even Gabe most of the time. 

Life is so much like the tides here… sometimes so full, other times empty, but always beautiful… even when all you see are mud flats…

New Zealand

So we’re in New Zealand and I’m trying to finish up work so I can focus on enjoying myself and the absolute beauty of this place. We’re staying in a former apple picker’s cottage on the gorgeous South Island. The girls spent the day exploring and playing on a huge tree branch next to the estuary. I relished watching the tide come in and recede… something really spiritual about it… I hope to have time to really think about my life while we’re here… I’m so miserable with the work I’m doing and I know I need to move in a new direction. I need time for self-reflection, self-discovery, basically self-care. Todd needs it, too. We both just seem so burned out to me. Neither one of us enjoys what we’re doing, yet we feel so stuck. Not a pretty place to be… probably the least happy I’ve seen us at the same time. Very hard to envision making major life changes when you have 3 children dependent on you for college in a few years. But I can’t believe it’s good for them to watch their parents slog through unhappily, lamenting their choices. I have such a strong desire to take art classes; learn to draw/paint/bead/anything, and yet if feels so impractical. I need to get over that and try something new, just for the sake of doing it. My soul is parched.