Ah New Zealand, land of the long white cloud…scrap that – make it land of the big black rain cloud for now. We left seven weeks ago and it was raining and arrived back this morning and it was still raining. They’ve tried to reassure us that there have been some (albeit not many) sunny days while we’ve been gone but i dunno. Spring is officially here and daylight saving time is not far away and then it’s summer – you know the days of endless sunshine, ice creams, sand and surf. Or at least that’s the summer of my childhood memories (or is that fantasies).

It seems looking back that summer was endless, the days were always hot and you got up in the morning, said “I’ll see you later” to your Mum and set off into another day of adventure and fun. Although I do have memories of my head over the toilet being sick from too much sun and heat, sand in my togs or even worse on my ice cream and my siblings all wanting to tag along with me to the beach or down town or wherever I was going.

Not that I really minded that much, we stuck together and even sometimes enjoyed each others company although with nine kids you did tend to form alliances based on age and sex. It was definitely not cool to be seen wheeling your baby brother around town at thirteen or so years old. I guess the upside was that at least back then they didn’t often think the kid was yours.

But it is nice to be home, it’s great to see the kids again and we have a big extended family dinner planned for a night very soon with the in-laws from Tanzania which we are looking forward to. We’ve seen a lot of houses over the last seven weeks, stayed in some of them and been definitely impressed by the size of many of them while we were away but it is true – there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed, being able to drop your clothes on the floor and leave your toothbrush on the vanity. We arrived home at 4.30am this morning and so my own bed is definitely looking good tonight. I’ll pick the clothes up tomorrow but I think I might just leave the toothbrush laying on the vanity just because I can.

I know some of you are reading this and thinking – “What, no opinion on the state of the nation, what God is doing here or over there, no deep meaningful prophetic insights? No! Just the thought – there really is no place like home, raining or not.

The posts of the trip are all up here on the blog so have a read. I’ll leave you with a poem – “Summer daze” and the photo of a couple of my paintings  – “Aotearoa – Land of the long white cloud” which to me does speak of blue skies and summer days and “Twilight rest” which speaks of lazy days at the beach watching the sun play on the water.

Summer daze

Memories of summer days

fill my mind

long white clouds

drift lazily by

sweet breezes

play with grass

laying there

dreaming of future days

not savouring the now

sun beats down

i fall asleep

to wake dazed

under crystal skies


like clouds

scuds by

and again I lay

in a summer daze

watching clouds


© Lyn Packer 2008