It’s Boxing Day – the day after Christmas and a Commonwealth holiday I’ve never known the origin of and have never bothered to look up.
I’m in the shower rinsing off chlorine and the layers of the sticky suncream I’ve been smothering myself with all day. Despite my diligence, the potent New Zealand skin has soaked through my skin so although I am naked, I look as if I’m still wearing a bathing suit.
Eleven thousand kilometers away, on the other side of the Pacific and in the opposite hemisphere, snow is falling over where I was born.
A few meters away, one of my best friends in New Zealand and one of my best friends from America are both wearing shorts and chopping vegetables for a late evening barbecue on the back patio.
Two tanned children are playing with their newest things, and a grey dog with a big juicy nose is running around mad.
There are bottles of beer and coconut water in the refrigerator, leftover salads I made for last night’s dinner, a whole case of cheeses – soft, blue, sharp, wine-flavored wrapped in red wax.
As the steam begins to rise, I think of the year that has almost come to pass and how hard, fun, inspiring, terrible, strange and wonderful it was. I think of all the people who have come, gone, stayed and have been there all along. I think of what the future might hold, how I haven’t a clue, and how I, in this moment, couldn’t care less.
And I realise I am happy.
Joy lets herself in quietly through the back door. I’m listening now.