I posted on Instagram a while ago that it had struck me that when I move out of my family home, it will be the first time that one of us hasn’t been living here since my parents got engaged. As life progresses and we all go our separate ways, this will become the home for a new family – we won’t have the familiarity of walking through the doors and this being home. It got me to thinking what other places I call home, and one stood out – Kariotahi.
Five years old, feet burning on the black sand, impatiently standing like a scarecrow while my mother smothered me in sunscreen
The time the car broke down on the way to the beach and we rolled down the hill to the mechanic with only the handbrake working
Watching people hang-glide off the cliffs
The first time I gathered up enough guts to bodyboard in on the massive surf waves
Walking down the beach with mum to “Jenny’s Rock”
Taking my boyfriend’s mum’s Toyota Camry to the beach and him getting it stuck in the sand… Twice. I didn’t even know about front and rear wheel drives… I think he did and just didn’t care
My seventeenth birthday where we carved our names in the cliff, toasting our “maturity” with bottles of Mondoro
Fish and chips and so many picnics, watching the sunset with friends
Smoking a cigar on what would have been my mother’s 50th birthday – she gave up smoking cigarettes when she got engaged, but would still have the occasional cigar with friends so it just seemed fitting
Cruising down the beach with Corrine in my SUV while our babies slept in the back seat, wind blowing through our hair and feeling young and carefree again – by then I’d learnt that you need a 4WD to drive on sand
Walking down the beach to “Jenny’s Rock” by myself in the biting wind, wishing that mum was waiting there to talk to
Standing, looking out westward over the Tasman Sea, looking towards the horizon and remembering how, when I was very small, I thought that if I squinted hard enough I could see Australia
There’s something really comforting in knowing that no matter where I roam, the beach will always be there and so will the memories.