Day Two


Tahuna Beach 26 March 2023

I'm awake too early. After a bit of tossing and turning I give in, put on my dressing gown and make a cup of tea. The cat, Po, thinks it's breakfast time so I feed her, even though it's only 5am, and go back to bed with my tea and book.

Then it's sunrise, salutes to the sun, breakfast – a new day, the same routine. I make a start on a contact list for our Quaker Meeting so that my faith group can support each other. I'll email everyone to ask their preferences and devise some kind of network. It's a small thing I can do to help.

Then, using my new found skill at Jitsi, I video call my sister in Auckland. I talk on the phone frequently to my children and my sisters but having found the difference being able to see them can make, I'm keen to do this for her. She tells me she is joining an international meditation at 9am every morning. I tell her that I want to go for a sea swim in my wet suit because I'm missing my regular swims at the pool. I'm trying to decide whether to walk to the yacht club or drive to the beach. The beach is safer. My sister says the prohibition on driving to the beach seems to have been relaxed as long as we observe social distancing. I'm relieved. We talk a bit more.

Late morning, with an incoming tide, I'm at the beach. The car park is empty, the cars I saw on my bike ride yesterday, which seemed to be makeshift homes for stranded travellers, have gone. I see Nicki walking along the sand and we talk at the required two metre distance for a while. She swam yesterday and today she has biked down for a walk – the reverse of my activities.

The water's cold but refreshing. I set off parallel to the shore, enjoying the familiar movements of my stroke, and as I turn to breathe I catch glimpses of Nicki's peach-coloured top as she walks. I know I'm safe, I trust my swimming skills and I'm not in deep water, but it's nice to know she's there.

Later when I message my friend who taught me to swim to say how much I enjoyed the water, he teases me for breaking the rules. Boating and paddle-boarding are off, surfing and swimming seem to be discretionary as in, be sensible so that no one has to take a risk to rescue you. A bit of searching on the Council website explains the empty car park – it's closed. I could park on the road if I go again. Will I go again? I'll think about it.

I get home just before a downpour. It's still close enough to summer to rejoice in the rain and a good soaking for the seeds I planted yesterday.

It feels like a lazy rainy Sunday and I spend the afternoon reading. When my friend calls I've dozed off. Her five year old grand-daughter has a chesty cough and has to be tested for the coronavirus. The family is worried but they are already taking all the precautions they can. They just have to wait for the results and see what's next.

I go back to the Quaker contact list and before long it's time to cook dinner. The day is almost over. In the evening I call my brother and sister-in-law and we compare experiences. It's harder for them, they are working from home and both have teams of anxious staff to care for. We finish up with gratitude that we have our homes and our children and grandchildren. There's a lot we could worry about but at this stage all is well.