This is our climate. We have grown up in this air, this light, and we grasp it on the skin, where it grasps us. We know this earth, this polished red stone with the soles of our feet. We will never be ourselves anywhere else. Happier, perhaps, healthier, less burdened, more secure. But we will never be closer to who we are than this.
~ Ivan Vladislavic, Portrait with Keys
I'm at home for a week or two, where the air is still full of smoke from the bushfires and eucalyptus oil, even after a day or so of rain.
It was 35 when I got off the plane and the dams are empty - the taste of summerfruit in drought is that much more intense - but it snowed in the mountains on Christmas Day. Weird.
It takes a while to adjust my eyes to the light, grey leaves and brown grass after green and lush NZ. But then I came face to face with a koala near the river opposite our house (I'm not sure which of us was most surprised).
I'll be back in Auckland in time to watch the fireworks.
Happy New Year.