Traditional thanksgiving is not recognized over here among the kiwis (plus it’s springtime so there’s not much harvest to feast over!) Nonetheless, for me this past weekend was about giving thanks to everything and everyone I have in my life. I sit here with a lovely glass of vino after a day at work overlooking the Wellington harbour and I can’t help think about how unexpected this course of events has been. I could not have predicted a year ago that things would have turned out this way. It has been one helluva year but in many ways, I am grateful for all that I have experienced and everyone from whom I have learned so much – family members, friends, and even many strangers.
While this past weekend was a quiet one it was just perfect. Pete and I spent Sunday afternoon wandering through the botanic gardens, which, ironically, I have seldom done. We walked the trails, visited the community herb garden and sat and watched a family of ducks maneuver their way from the local fountain to their home – a quiet little pond nestled next to a waterfall. We watched the mother and father shuffle 6 little ducklings through the rose garden, across a path, and into the safety of their pond. The little ducklings stayed out of mischief and followed their mother in step. Adorable! All this in downtown Welli – amazing!
On the edge of the garden we came across a cemetery nestled away amongst the flowers. This was the first cemetery of Wellington, which was created in 1840 on what was, at the time, the outskirts of town. We walked the trail through the cemetery, which gave a glimpse into the life and times of this growing colony. Stories told on the headstones reflected the struggles that many people at that time faced – poor sanitation, fire, earthquakes, racial tensions, injuries from wars. By 1892 due to limited space and concerns around sanitation (by this point the cemetery was in the centre of town) the cemetery was closed and new ones were created that were further out of town. It’s quite a peaceful place with vibrant flowers growing everywhere and massive trees protected the headstones from the weather.
It was a truly lovely afternoon spent giving thanks, relaxing away the hours and touring one of the capital city’s most amazing sights.
Happy thanksgiving to all!