Monday, 5 September 2011

An attitude of gratitude

I happened to be awake with my toddler in the small hours yesterday morning. A significant day for people in Christchurch - 4 September. I found myself reflecting on what has been going on in our lives during this journey around the sun, and where we were this time last year. On that cold morning back then, I remember sitting in the dark listening to Radio New Zealand, my then 1- year-old-son playing with a torch as we rode out those first few hours of rockin' and rollin'. A story in today's newspaper entitled, 'A Lone Voice In The Dark' describes the experience of the Radio NZ presenter who happened to be working that day.

But even with no power or landline phone, we did not feel alone. Texts flew among our Lyttelton-adopted whanau, making sure everyone was ok. Neighbours went out on the street in the minutes following that first quake and checked on each other. At dawn our friends arrived to have breakfast cooked on the log burner, cold from being in a house with no working heating. Later in the morning, the Lyttelon Farmers Market got going, a chance to lay eyes on friends and faces from the street and check in. And while that first day was not as 'big' as events that followed, it set the tone for how we responded: taking care of each other.

In the last year I have become acutely aware of things to be grateful for. The rhythm of our lives these days is driven by things that keep us grounded and firmly connected to each other: Wednesdays at the community garden... wandering the farmer's market;...craft groups among friends where there is often not much actual craft going on but plenty of love as we share a cup of tea...walking through town and realising I know many more people by name than a year ago, with real heart connections abundant...Friday afternoons at the Top Club... trading on the Time Bank..random hugs from a friend bumped into on the street who really means it when they ask how you are...going for walks through the town and admiring the view...enjoying wood fired pizza at the new Brewery ...listening to songs from our town on the Harbour Union...checking out theatre on London St, relocated from the damaged Loons to the ruins of the Lava Bar...being together. 

It hasn't all been fun, this last year, but the bonds between us are stronger than before, we know each other better and we know all about what resilience means. Have a listen to this great story on Radio NZ.

Yesterday morning I was happy to snuggle back in bed to snooze and think about the many things to be grateful for.

Written by Jodi Rees

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