Back in Auckland. Flew in over the sea and stared fondly at what I took to be Waiheke Island, my old home. The plane banked and I realised I was looking in completely the wrong direction and we were coming in from the south. That infallible geographical sense of mine.
So I’m in a town I know and love – or think I know, as it’s already, in 18 months, changed perceptibly, as cities do. There are still roadworks everywhere, as indeed there always will be, still not appearing to make any difference to the hellish traffic. There is torrential rain, followed by sun, followed by more rain.
But there is no Mahinarangi Tocker. I’ve been sleeping in her empty room, pulling weeds out of her garden, talking about her with those who miss her the most, surrounded by her pictures – her smile – on the walls, on the fridge.
There’s a theory she might have come back as a tui. There were three watching me closely in the garden this afternoon. I have my suspicions. Fly high, lovey.

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