When I used to travel to Wales for Simon Whitehead's Locator workshops in the Preseli Hills, on the first morning, before we tramped out into the dense and magical Ty Canol Woods, Simon would speak about the time it takes to arrive in a new place. I don't think I ever really knew what he meant until now - here in New Zealand many years later.
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.
Tricia Durdey dances, writes, and teaches Pilates.