I am sure you have noticed that the birds are singing quite early these days. I have found myself waking up before 6am many days over the past few weeks and I really haven’t minded. Don’t we all face the day with more anticipation when we know that a long, summer day is ahead. Much different than how we feel when it is the same time on a December or January day and it is still dark out. I always look forward to the long days of summer with anticipation and nostalgia. It takes me back to my younger days as a child with the freedom that summer brings.
At this time last year, I was able to see the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean in Kaikoura Central, Canterbury, New Zealand for the WINTER SOLSTICE. Of course it was quite an experience to see the sun rise instead of set over the Pacific Ocean from the other side of the world and for it to be winter in June. I lived in California for a dozen years. I experienced many amazing sunsets during those years but never a sunrise.
As you can see, it truly was quite the sight to behold. An unfiltered gift from God, and definitely the most amazing sunrise I have seen in my lifetime.
If you have looked at our travel page you will recall that I never saw the ocean until after my freshman year of college, and I never rode on a plane until Christmas 1980 as a 21 year-old. To think that I would ever get to travel to somewhere so far away as New Zealand was unimaginable…but what an amazing trip! Taryn was finishing up a study abroad program through Penn State University. It was not in my plans to make a visit, but I was very concerned that she might not come home if I didn’t go and bring her back!
We spent a little over two weeks traveling around the south and north island of New Zealand. Taryn had the opportunity to travel to the South Island during a break from classes….sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. I didn’t find out until I got there that it meant sleeping in her car at a campground by herself sometimes. Not something that I wanted to know as a mother, but she is a grown up and on her “adulting” journey as she calls it. I do believe that the trip was life changing for Taryn. She came back a different person, or perhaps more of the same person that God had meant for her to be, but that was lost somewhere along the way.
We are all lost and trying to find ourselves, to be that person that God has called us to be. Travel and time away to see a beautiful new place gives me a sense of awe and connectedness to our creator in a way it is easy to overlook in the every day life that I live. I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and the many other places I have been since my first trip in 1980. So get out there and experience life!
Happy Longest Day of the Year,
P.S. It is National Wear your Lilly Day. Hope to see you rocking your Lilly Pulitzer!