I've been here just over a week now. I connected to the country immediately and felt at home, but a mixture of jet-lag and the sheer joy of being reunited with family had a curious physical effect. I had so much energy the first two days that a fast walk to town - two miles down a steep winding road and then uphill again laden with veg from the market, and a further evening walk to the wind turbine at the top of the mountain, felt like nothing. I had bags more energy than I have at home. But after two days I felt so wired I couldn't sleep - a buzzing of the nervous system that felt electric and unsettling.
Two days ago I was on the ferry to the south island - the weather was glorious and we'd just reached open sea. I looked out over the water and saw an albatross - a bird I'd seen as almost mythical since reading Coleridge The Ancient Mariner. Long elegant wings outstretched, its graceful body seemed to float through the air - so beautiful.
This morning back in Wellington I look out at mist over the harbour, and listen to my baby cousin happily playing in the kitchen. Peace - a sense of calm. I have really arrived.