In the morning I pull open the curtains to let the summer sunshine in. The glass-sliding door is unlocked from the day before and I can hear my hosts sitting on the large wooden patio outside my door chatting over morning coffee and cigarettes. Everyone here smokes it seems, so I’m trying to get accustomed to the blue clouds of carcinogens that hang about in the otherwise fresh air which always smells of roses here.
There are roses everywhere. They’re grown beneath the grape vines to deter the aphids from eating prime wine crops. They cover the parks and the gardens in every colour and type. They spread across Mat’s mom’s yard in numbers that astound me and, as she tells me, have produced more than one Japanese bride to show up on her doorstep asking to use her garden for her nuptuals. The roses are amazing. If you’re lucky enough you can get caught in a vortex of rose petals as they peel off their stalks in the brisk spring Marlborough wind, swirling through the air in a mad chaos that is so beautiful to me and yet so messy to those that live such glorious wonders day in and day out.
I have to remind myself at times that I’m still on planet earth. It’s not the fault of roses, nor is it the fault of New Zealand. I think it’s always been a case for me when I travel somewhere new on this planet. I know that I’m somewhere here. I know the people are just like me and where I come from, but for some reason I am not grounded and I’m not able to feel that comfort of home for some time. I walk through my days quite aimlessly doing so many things and yet feeling so little. It takes me time to adjust, but my hope is one day I will be able to travel and adjust instantly.
I don’t really miss much about Canada just yet. It’s only been three weeks after all. I have to think it has something to do with our similar cultures and our similar scenery. Time will only tell. For now I’ll bask in the sun among the roses and try to let my guard down just enough to accept this as my life.
In the evening we all wind down with tea, which is just a clever way of saying gorging oneself on dinner. We drink instant coffee until just before bed and the boys stay outside in the cool night air continuously smoking their rollies. Tonight I will sleep with the window open and listen to the wind blow the spring out of Marlborough. Tomorrow I will wake and we will begin a road trip to Christchurch and then the Franz Josef Glacier. I can’t help but feel that I need to skip over to Queenstown whilst I’m so close, but I suppose that may have to wait for another time.