Here I am! Did you think I would never post again? I shan’t let SIXTEEN days go by without a single post again. It is unacceptable, and I just spanked myself for not being more disciplined. I do have reasons (okay, excuses) for my radio silence, but we’ll get into that another day. For now, more about Gisborne (for my American/Canadian friends, they pronounce it Geez-bun, with a hard g). However, we have adopted the name Kiwis call it: Gizzy.
I do not come straight outta Gizzy, but I think I could have been Gisborne and raised. I did not, however, feel that sentiment in the slightest upon arriving. When we rolled into town from the big city lights and late nights spent in the buzzy parts of Auckland, it was growing close to 8:30 PM on a Tuesday evening. It had been a beautiful, but loooong day of travel, and we had just been spit out of an enormous gorge where we lost cell service for hours. ‘Right,’ I thought to myself. ‘No problemo, I’ll have internet again as soon as we arrive in town, and we’ll just pull over and look up a few places. We’ll be cheersing to a lovely day of sightseeing in no time.’ As we tootled on down the main street of town, though, it became very clear to us that there was no time for restaurant research. It felt like an absolute ghost town. This sent me spiraling into a completely irrational state of panic, a tizzy, if you will, because we might have to do this THING, this thing I am terrible at doing: wing it. That’s right, adjust my plans, be spontaneous, go with the flow, be flexible. These concepts do not come “natural” to me. I mean, God forbid, I may end up having ONE sub-par meal. First world problems man, I’m tellin’ you what. We really didn’t have a choice, though, as only one place seemed to be open, so I had to get over myself or go to bed hangry. I chose the former, and it was fine. It didn’t live up to Mollymac’s standard of, “I will only eat homemade, hearty-but-decently-healthy, fairly priced food, served up by a friendly, knowledgeable waiter, in a timely fashion, in a convivial atmosphere with lovely lighting and fabulous tunes playing at the correct volume in the background (too soft or too loud, and everyone may hear me telling Clay the fascinating news of how I forgot to pluck my eyebrows earlier in the day). Oh, and the place better be clean. Whoever thought I wasn’t high maintenance (and didn’t know the extent of my OCD), well, secret’s out! So yeah, I went to bed with my panties in a wad thinking to myself, “Well. This town is plum sleepy and lame. And, and, and, there isn’t one good restaurant, coffee shop, or bar that stays open past 9 PM! Just kill me now!” Absurd, I am aware. I ask God for perspective all the dad-gum time.
However, I must admit, Gisborne has quite grown on me. I didn’t wake up the next morning and command myself to just, “Be positive Molly! Give it a chance.” The place simply just crept its way into my soul, where a great affinity for it now lies. It’s true, one cannot find a coffee shop open past 5:30 PM (most are 8 AM-3 PM), all the shops are pretty much closed on Saturday and Sunday, and you better get your arse to dinner before 8 PM if you plan to eat, but I have come to appreciate the time capsule that is Gisborne. People live a slower pace of life…a pace that understands a work-life balance and savors the good, real stuff of life. It’s very common to see families eating their fish and chips on the beach, enjoying an evening stroll on the boardwalk, going for a sunset swim, fishing off the sea wall, or (my favorite thing to sit and watch) jumping off the train track bridge into the river.
I see this understanding of knowing when to work and when to rest in Zoe and Sue. They work their fannies off, but they know when to stop and have a cuppa tea, or take a day of rest, and then get back out in the fields. This has been really good for me to witness, because my mind and body stay in this state:
It’s not a state I wish to remain in forever though, so we consciously made the decision to adopt (or at least try to adopt) the Gizzy way of life. Below are our attempts at savoring every afternoon and evening, post flower picking. Enjoy, and then go start living, if you’re not already, like those lovely “Gisborne and raised” folks.
Rere Rock Slide
Another fun outing near Field of Roses. The Rere Rock Slide! Clay was very jealous we were not equipped with a blow-up mattress like these kids. However, if he had taken up the French gentleman’s offer (you’ll see him in the background of the video) to “change out of his underpants so he borrow his wetsuit and boogie board,” Clay could have partaken in the fun.
We went to a local church one Sunday…Mangapapa Church. It had been FOREVER since we attended church. Felt really good to be back. This church felt so similar to our old church…shout out to our East Lake family! There was a warmth and acceptance of ALL there. And also that feeling that you never know what on earth may happen during the service. A moving of the spirit if you will…sometimes a very humorous moving of the spirit. There was a mentally ill man who sang and did the Lord’s prayer very loudly, and very ahead of everyone else. I would catch myself accidentally getting way off the beat or way ahead of the words listening to him. Clay would start cracking up when he would hear me, then laughing attacks proceeded. My laughing attacks ALWAYS happen in church. That’s one thing I really love about God, though. I really think this kind of thing is a more genuine moving of the spirit than anything else. Plus, it proves he loves for us to laugh and enjoy ourselves. Anyway, I may be a million miles away from Birmingham, but I love how I can be taken right back to a pew in Huffman, Alabama, around the age of 5 or 6, sitting next to my sister Kali, all of my cousins, aunts and uncles, parents, and grandparents, learning one of many hymns that always, somehow, despite my attempts to push God away and distance myself, come back to me. Mom and Mimi…I know y’all love this one…”Take It to the Lord in Prayer.”