Should I Die in New Zealand?

When we lived in Dallas, fierce thunderstorms were not strangers. They swept through the area with some regularity, sometimes bringing with them astonishing hail that ruined roofs and left cars pockmarked with evidence of Mother Nature’s fury that simply could not be erased, even by the most accomplished bodywork pro.

But those storms in Dallas were not as frequent as their brethren in Arkansas. Here, the frequency of severe thunderstorms almost parallels the frequency of sunrise; good lord, it’s as if every bloody day a deeply angry…hell, no, a deeply DISTURBED…Mother Nature threatens us with her maniacal wrath. MN seems to enjoy her little dalliances into prospective murder. She sings as she goes about the process of ripping limbs from trees, causing high winds to burp loudly as they rush through tiny gaps in weather-stripping on doors, and otherwise express delight in her power that could, if she willed it, annihilate us in one shrieking howl of her breath.

Tonight, we’ve just experienced (and are, I hope, experiencing the tail end) of such a storm. Rarely does weather strike fear into me; usually, it simply causes appreciation and admiration to well up in my chest. Tonight, I watched monstrous trees bend in prayer to a mad wind who did not care to receive their worship. I am alive. For that, I am grateful. During the height of the storm, I was entirely unsure whether that would be the case over the course of minutes.

Back to my original comment: this area is visited MUCH more frequently than Dallas by fierce storms. It just is. I had no idea; and now, I wonder if I can tolerate this for much longer. New Zealand, specifically the north end of the south island, is tugging at me to come visit, “for just a while…or a lifetime.”

Actually, I mention New Zealand only because it’s been much on my mind of late, for reasons I choose not to address right now, and I dreamed last night of moving there. That was after conversations about Nelson, New Zealand over dinner last night. Crap, I may actually be crazy enough to move. Yesterday afternoon, I shared with my wife what I’d found about the cost and schedule of flights and buses to get to Havelock, NZ, where I’d found an absolutely dreamy and utterly affordable motel. I could do this. I really could. But would my wife go with me? She wouldn’t go for my place in the country and a tractor, so I guess I won’t get to follow this dream, either. I can get pretty damn depressed pretty damn fast, you know? No, you wouldn’t; you don’t know me any better than I know myself.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Should I Die in New Zealand?

  1. Juan Flores says:

    Didn’t know that!

    My son, T-Bone, has a double citizenship in Australia, so I thought if Australia might be a place for my retirement, then what about Tazzy — which I have heard from Aussie friends will likely become the next “wine country” of the world, like Nappa!

  2. No, my friend. I’ve been to New Zealand and I know the gentleness and potential of a place that does not label people. There are no “fat pigs” in New Zealand, nor any “imbeciles.” The place is a hotbed of intellect; I miss it, even though it’s been years.

  3. Juan Flores says:

    Don’t go to New Zealand…..go to Tasmania!!!!

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