Turning of the Page

The ocean waves roared against the sea wall, as I ran to overlook the infinity of the ocean. For a brief moment I could feel no pain, no worry, no waiting for something to come. I was just floating in a moment of bliss, of joy, of beauty. The west coast of New Zealand seemed infinite, and I felt infinite with it.

When I landed in Wellington I was greeted by my partner’s parents who generously offered to drive me to the south island. I attempted to unpack and repack for the journey ahead, unknowing what elements would be ahead for me. I stepped onto the ferry to feel the page turn. A new chapter would begin in this journey, one that was riddled with new thoughts and understanding. A four hour journey across the channel led me to see the south island for the first time. Blocks of land created distinct channels of water that guided the ferry to the town of Picton.

With a rental big enough to haul my suitcases and Fern’s guitar, we set off for the west coast of the south island. I watched with wide eyes as the scenery unfolded before me. It felt familiar, yet completely new. We settled for the evening just by the sea after a large meal and delightful amount of red wine.

The morning was met with visiting the Pancake Rocks. With a bit of stormy weather, it made for fantastic waves crashing against the stacked rocks. I could of watched it for quite some time, but the adventure of the day called for greater things. DSCF1641.JPG

We continued the journey by navigating through the southern alps. The mountains lined the sky with an intensity I have never experienced before. We have mountains back in the Northwest, but nothing quite like this. The snow gently melted off into cascading waterfalls along the hillside. Giant basins lay below as the road traversed along the hillside, winding with the hills and plunging into the depths of the valley floor.

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The mountains held a new promise for me, for on the other side of its hold would be the first sight of Fern since we parted two months earlier. Through the mountains, across the plains of farmland, a few cafes in between, and a long windy road later, I finally made it to my new home in Port Chalmers. I could see the etches of Fern in the dusk that was settling. I rolled out of the car and leaped up to hug Fern, and for a moment all was right with the world.

We spent the next couple days enjoying the company of family and meeting friends before the routine came to settle in. Saying goodbye to another set of parents felt hard, and it pushed the next page in the chapter of our time here. Time once again to struggle and succeed all on our own.

Every transition requires us to show up for ourselves. It requires us to believe more in ourselves, and to take challenges head-on. Even if that challenge has been residing in us all along. The days leading up to coming to New Zealand were a mix of bonding of old friendships, and the painful reality of goodbyes.

I sent two of my dearest friends off into their new chapter in life as a married couple. A couple that have long since been a refuge during the harder years of my young life, and have always been a stronghold of what it truly means to be in love with your best friend. They aren’t just high-school sweethearts who happened to get married, they are lifetime partners who created one big family for the weekend of their wedding.

As I parted ways with the bride, I could feel the weight of my decisions in full-force. Feeling the depth of sacrifice, knowing that I will miss the milestones of others while I am away. Feeling the intense ache on the way home was only uplifted by the promises left in the heart of my partner across the sea.

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The Baller Wedding at Point Robinson Lighthouse in Vashon Island, Washington State

Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes. It is a turning of a page in the chapter of life. It is recognizing that you have connections with many people in your life, and sometimes those connections appear in several seasons.

I walked around the port today, embracing the salty sea air and the cold wind that comes to call. This season holds many pages to turn in itself, it is not just one chapter, but perhaps several. The port feels like an old world, as if time had kept moving, but it somehow stayed the same. I’ve learned new words, how to walk on the left side of the sidewalk, and have watched the coming and going of a simpler life. While the world moves on, so do the chapters of the lives who inhabit it.

I have yet to learn what this season is meant to be. It is one of cold mornings, but warm nights. It is one of the salty sea air, and one of the gentle mist that comes to rest on the mountains across the bay. I have a lot to learn, mistakes to make, and people to meet. One thing for sure, I am happy to be in the arms of Fern, to watch his face light up when he comes home to me. I won’t ever take for granted him making my tea at the ungodly hours of the morning, and I won’t ever take for granted the opportunity and the privilege to be with him.

We live in a divided world, that finds where we are born definitive of the kind of rights we have. In an internationally intertwined world, I hope the policies and laws reflect those changes to create a world where our birth gives us all the right to be treated with dignity, with grace, and with the right to live our lives, and love who we want.

May the season change you, may the tides guide you. Now is the time to turn the page, to a new chapter, to a new weather system, and to shift understanding into a new way of seeing, into a new way of being.

Love and Light,

Bethany Jane

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