Last weekend I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. My bike seems to have a constant flat tyre these days, there must be a tiny piece of something sharp embedded in the tyre or something. So rather than combining exercise with errands, I'm having to actually make an effort and Go For A Walk. The most scenic place to walk is still along the river, even though it's a pretty sad place now. The roads are rutted, cracked and full of holes. Even when the holes are patched it doesn't take long for the asphalt to wear away, since the land is still unstable and settling itself.
The saddest thing of all is the houses: lopsided, windows broken, waist high grass on the front lawns. Gardens which were once lovingly tended have gone wild and all but disappeared.
For the anniversary of quake day, someone came up with the idea of putting flowers in all the road cones. There are A LOT of road cones around Christchurch, and that morning as I drove to work, every cone I saw was sporting a bouquet. Some were simple - agapanthus and dahlias were popular - and some were mixed posies. It was beautiful and uplifting.
The rest of the day was strange. Memories and emotions kept surfacing, especially at 12.51 when I was sitting in the exact same place I had been when the quake struck.
I find myself thinking back to how things were a year ago - the first few days without power or water, the weeks that followed where we were unable to use water from the tap without boiling it first, the inconvenience of sewage pipes not working properly. The traffic congestion and bumpy roads (neither of which has improved much in the following 12 months!) The time spent with family who looked after me when I needed it, and friends whose support and kind wishes kept me going.
This is a bridge over the Avon River in Dallington. There was a commemoration ceremony here where people gathered to throw flowers in the river.
A couple of days before Christmas last year our neighbours came to the door. They were holding this beautiful quilt, which was made by some lovely ladies in Australia. The quilt was sent along with some others to my neighbours' church, to be distributed among people affected by the quake. They are the pastors of the church and they very kindly brought the quilt around to us as a gift. I was very touched - both to be thought of, and also that people in another country had worked together to make this loving gift to send to Christchurch and show their support.
I put the quilt of love on our bed straight away. I've spent a lot of time looking at the individual squares and feeling the good wishes of those who made them.
My thanks to the Coolum Quilters of Queensland, Australia.
♥ ♥ ♥