This is the beginning of a new journey. One which I hope you will join me on.
It's called Loving Where You Live. Embracing all that is beautiful and worth loving in the right here, right now.
All this beauty is within five minutes walk of my own home. But it's the first time I've ever truly stopped and really seen it.
I admit that I often despair of Wellington's weather. Just yesterday a nasty southerly storm reminiscent of mid-winter blew through and sent temperatures here plummeting. And on any other normal summer day, when the rest of the country is basking in sunshine and balmy temperatures, Wellington is more often than not a few degrees colder and always a good deal windier. I think this is why I so enjoy the times when we travel out of town, up country to warmer climes where I shed layers of clothing like a snake shedding its skin. It's fair to say that the sun is warmer, and the wind is gentler elsewhere.
But reality hits each time we return home. I find myself questioning why, why, why we live in this place when the lure of warmer, more settled places beckon only a few miles down the road. I question it even more when I'm sitting here and the tapping of these keys on the keyboard are more than drowned out by the raging wind buffeting the house.
So I definitely need to be reminded about the beauty that lies here. The reasons why we choose to live here. What there is to love about this amazing, vibrant city. Often, perhaps always, I need to be reminded.
So this is me, opening my eyes. Seeing with eyes wide open.
Winding roads that lead ever higher.
Houses perched on hillsides seeking out any solace of sun they can find.
Quiet streets play the grand entrance to unexplored hideaways.
Short histories lived inside these walls by most world standards but colourful histories nonetheless.
Have you opened your eyes lately to see the beauty that is around you? Instead of looking over the fence towards greener pastures wishing you there, why not begin by looking closely in your own field? You might just be surprised at what you find.
I'm going to make a concerted effort to open my eyes and consciously Love Where I Live this year. And I hope I might be able to inspire you to do the same.