On this day last year I was posting photographs of Mount Tongariro erupting because I was back home in New Zealand and had recently driven past that North Island volcano. On December 1st I had arrived at my sister's house, down in Dunedin, and was catching up with her and her beautiful family for the first time in 8 years.
Eight years can go by in a flash ... and they did. I was always coming home soon but getting home was a hellishly expensive business. Fortunately I lack a sense of time passing and, while I longed for home and family something fierce sometimes, I got by. I was even more delighted when I discovered everyone still there, where I had left them.
Old friendships had survived, babies and toddlers had grown, and there was enough good New Zealand pinot noir to make sure I survived how old all the babies were now, and laughter too, making every day there so very special.
I was talking to Dad tonight, harassing him in his 9.30am Monday morning from my 9.30pm Sunday night. Since I stopped traveling so much I've made a point of startling him with a phone call far more regularly. He's stopped with his startled, 'Is that you Di??!' and is no longer surprised when he hears my voice from some 16,000kms round the world. I used to disappear for months sometimes. It's that time passing problem ... no sense of it.
So anyway, all this to say ... this time one year ago I was home in New Zealand.
I may have even taken the photograph that follows today, precisely one year ago. Sandra popped us all into her car we wandered off down my beloved Otago Peninsula. This view, on the way home via the high road, is one that I had always loved.