Back in Hawera, one of those little towns in South Taranaki. Hawera is slightly bigger than a "blink and you missed it" town (mostly due to the presence of the Fonterra Whareroa dairy factory on the outskirts of town), about 4 1/2 hours north of Wellington (about 350km). About the limit of what I want to drive for work - much more than that and it's a flying thing.
Enjoyed the drive: I have a lot to think about in the discernment realms right now so appreciated the chance to kick back with some plainchant on the stereo and settle into long distance driving and prayer. It was a much nicer trip than last time I was up here: it wasn't pouring with rain, which seriously helped! I saw two hawks stooping on prey near the road (not roadkill, for a change!) and some of the light effects through the clouds were really lovely. Saw what my dearly beloved calls "the fingers of God" effect twice (when there is a tiny chink in the clouds and a clear shaft of light comes through), and there were some awesome cloud formations. Up here it's seriously cold; I think we're in for a major frost tomorrow morning.
As regular readers of my blog will know, I've been doing a lot of thinking about life and vocation over the past little while (somewhat to the detriment of my university study, but I'm planning to fix some of that over the next couple of nights here!). There may be some developments in the wind, but I'll just have to pray and wait to see what's happening. I'm looking forward to these three nights here to think, to get some study done, and to pray - and to soak myself into Homo lobsterii in the humungous spa bath in my motel unit! I do love it when I find a bathtub on these various trips: we only have a shower at home so soaking in a tub is an almost forgotten luxury - especially good on these frosty nights!
I do love my family and I really miss them on these trips - especially putting my little daughter to bed, and having her give me a kiss and say, "I love you, Mummy" just before she falls asleep, but I also appreciate the silence and space of being away. It's a good balance for me, really. The only problem is that I haven't made a single one of my ballet classes (on Wednesday nights) this term because I haven't been in Wellington - and the one Wednesday I was, hubby had a meeting...