Everyone says that glowworms look like stars lit up across the cave sky. This seems like an easy metaphor, what with the tiny blue lights twinkling above on a canvas of darkness. Really, it’s a maggot, not a worm, whose pancreatic organ produces the bioluminescence. It’s not nearly as romantic to kiss under the light of a thousand secreting maggots though, so I can see why New Zealand’s marketing team opted for a re-brand. I prefer to flip the view and liken it to a looking down on a tiny town from an airplane, where the dots form clustered patterns and occasionally there’s one out on its lonesome.
Planes, jobs and a deepening nostalgia for home have been on our minds a lot lately. A couple weeks ago we started house sitting for a lovely couple that entrusted us with the care of their two fourteen-year-old Wheaton Terriers and their beautiful five-acre property in the countryside south of Auckland. For the first week we hardly left the house. The novelty of sleeping in a comfortable bed, having unlimited access to a hot shower, and plenty of room to stretch by a fire should have promoted lazy days. Instead we dove into the job hunt and have been blinking at computer screens from the moment we clear the oatmeal bowls until the clouds darken for good.
Applying for jobs and figuring out where to land after so much time afloat has been really stressful. Every time we see a great opportunity we pour ourselves into a Word document and then wait, and wait, like a puddle of energy slowly evaporating into the sky. We’re actively trying to settle into a more sustainable and healthy rhythm of enjoying our last few weeks in this incredible country. One day we’ll research and send out applications, and the next we’ll go lawn bowling or jump around an indoor trampoline park. The weather has been foreboding at best, so we’ve been trying to get creative about indoor activities that still release some energy. Today we just got back from exploring various parks including one with a life size game of Snakes and Ladders!
Tyler and I celebrated our two-year anniversary by going for a bike ride along the Coromandel Peninsula and staying in an awesome Airbnb retrofitted from an old gold refinery. Nearby we explored the Karangahake Gorge where a lovely mountain pockmarked like Swiss cheese during the gold mining era now serves as a popular hiking and biking park.
We’ve both been finding little ways to brighten each other’s day. Tyler will leave me an encouraging note or run to the grocery store to buy pesto ingredients (my favorite). I’ll bake him an apple crumble or give him a massage. We’re both super lucky to have such awesome support squads on the other side of the Pacific and with each other. It’s a challenging time, but we’re both optimistic for the next chapter of the adventure.