I think it is well established that New Zealand is a beautiful place. So let's not dwell on the lush fern forests and brilliantly green paddocks and the way some sort of flower always manages to be showing its face, no matter the season.
Just as wonderful as it is to be living in this aesthetically pleasing land, I find reunions with old friends equally soul-satisfying.
Yesterday a young man picked up my sister and I for lunch, a man who I last saw fifteen years ago, when he was eight years old and had round cheeks and the ability to sing a few octaves higher, surely. These days he's tall and thin and often in the company of his lovely fiancee, a startling realization of just how fast we have grown up.
The four of us shared a delicious meal together at Takapuna Beach, where the scenery, food, and company were thoroughly enjoyable -- even with the burst of rain on the way back to the car. Once the summer sun comes out to stay, I hope to venture back. Any place that serves poached feijoas and greek yoghurt over brazil nut and linseed granola (yes, they actually used the American term "granola"), especially within glass wall that face the beach, wins a bit of my heart.
When I start to wonder if New Zealand possesses any authentic "homey-ness" to me anymore, or if the years of distance have wiped it all away, the act of rekindling friendships comes as a comforting gift.