There’s something about the harbour when the tide is in. It affects my mood, reminds me that where I live is full of beauty, fills my heart – like Evans Bay – near to overflowing, and is, just for that moment, perfect. The picture postcard mornings on the way to the gym, with the water almost up to the floor of the multi-coloured boathouses, the vista smooth and tranquil, are no more beautiful than the harbour today after the gym, the sea that deep cool blue, choppy in the blustery breeze, gorgeous even in its frigid hostility. I love that side of the harbour, yet I continue to drive around the bays, around the point into Oriental Bay, where coffee beckons and, as my friend’s mother once said, it is always Sunday. Here, the feeling is more hospitable, the water calmer, silvery, glittering in the sun, edged and protected by the city buildings, and green hills where I make my home.
Today though, an icy Antarctic blast reminds us that spring is simply a date on the calendar, not a reading on a thermometer, and I wrap my red scarf and woolly coat close around me. Still, I like to think that there is a subtle promise in the angle and the brightness of the sunlight that, one day soonish, spring might actually be a reality.