There was a moment of realisation, gratitude, and appreciation some years ago. Its memory has not faded in the slightest.
Our highschool used to host international students, some of whom would only be with us for a few months, and would often give a speech before their depature.
One girl (I think she was from Japan) said that driving from the airport to her homestay, she noticed how much greenery there was. Spending time in the central Auckland suburbs near our school, and even the CBD, she was astonished to see this did not change.
It was like a city built in the middle of a forest, she said.
Being somewhat of the tree-hugging variety, I had often felt despondent at how much our flora made way for concrete. On hearing her words, I began to notice the green that was still around me, and how plentiful it was.
A city built in the middle of a forest.
I carry those words with me always, and it is no exaggeration to say that I am in constant awe of how beautiful Aotearoa is.
Just something to think about.