hello from waiheke!
where has the time gone? can anyone tell me? it's been a month since i took a 40-minute ferry ride from central auckland to waiheke island and settled into solitary confinement, self-imposed and quite luxurious. it's actually not completely solitary as birds, butterflies and other insects come calling everyday. sunrises greet me in the morning and sunsets bid me good night. the trees with their branches and leaves wave hello every time i look out as do the sails of the boats in the harbor. at night, the stars come out and appear so close, i believe i can almost touch them.
as you may have gathered, this is not meant as a punishment of any kind, but rather an indulgence, to actualize a childhood fantasy of living in a tree house, high up on a hill with views of the ocean. it was also a need to answer the call from me to myself to spend quality time without distractions, without time limits, without the pressure of going sight-seeing because there aren't many individual sights, yet it's one big magical sight that i find myself smack dab in the middle of.
the peace and serenity on the outside set the stage for deeper reflection on the inside, which has resulted in more than a few discoveries, both joyous and painful. i am astounded by what i'm finding when i am completely honest with myself, and even more so by being able to admit them. i am proud with my continuous growth, and feel far more confident, not as frightened.
that's cause for celebration, don't you think? so i take myself into oneroa, a pretty village nearby, and enjoy a beautiful meal then marvel at the art scene, which is very much alive and kicking. whether it's the fine arts, performing arts, architecture, fashion, or food, the variety, creativity, and passion is truly inspiring.
my most favorite place to go to when i need a break from myself is the community center that houses a gorgeous library, an art gallery, a performance space, and a learning center. there's also a cinema unlike any i'd ever been to. an intimate room is furnished with a mish mash of super-comfy sofas to sink into. i felt like i was watching a movie at a friend's house instead of in a public theater.
i've also come to look forward to the weekly saturday market at ostend, another village not too far way, with a buzzing, happening scene filled with artisan producers, antiques dealers, new and used clothing, books, gifts, and household items. it's a great place for interesting conversations with the locals and to meet tourists as well.
though the island has a low population density ratio, it was surprising to learn how multi-cultural it is. i hear a lot of different languages being spoken, which always makes me feel at home, having grown up in new york city. a few of the people i've chatted with said they came as a tourist and never left. could that be my fate? i pondered this as i extended my stay for another couple of weeks feeling not quite ready to leave, feeling very much content to be right where i am.
hope you are too…
* photos can be viewed on google.