The Light is Different Beneath Southern Skies

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Hi home, long time no see!

It feels so unreal that I’m back in New Zealand right now. I know three years isn’t such a long time to be away from home, but I’m getting the sense that everything has changed even though things still look the same. The local dairy still stands on the top of the hill. Mr Tux, our neighbour’s cat, still roams the streets. That tree in need of some major pruning still stands there covering the street sign. However, the vibe is different. Ya’know what I mean? I’m not sure how to describe it without sounding like a crazy person, but the light outside is different.

I’m starting to understand what S meant when he came to New Zealand for the first time. As soon as we stepped outside the airport he told me that the light here is different and chucked his sunnies on. I thought he was talking boloney back then. I blamed it on the long-haul flight. We already had the ozone hole talk before he came over, and I even told him about the importance of wearing sunnies here for everyday functioning if one wants to avoid having a perpetual glare on the face. I would have understood if he was on about the harshness of our sun. Then we would have had another talk on being sun smart while drawing his attention to my blue bottle of Cancer Society SPF30+ Sunscreen. However, he was actually referring to the hue. I never noticed it when I was living here, but the light is sort of like a ‘it’ll-give-you-a-headache-if-you-look-at-it-for-too-long’ type of light. My eyes need to get adjusted to this again.

On our drive back from the airport I sat right up against the car window trying to make a mental checklist of what actually did change.

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