After a great sleep at Uk Sarah's (and Roy's), I left early to meet up with American Women to walk along the East Bays. I noticed a lot of changes in St Heliers. I have only been away since last December! Some things do not change, like the Moreton Bay fig tree on the green or Rangitoto in the Bay and a few big changes did occur... buildings long under construction are complete including new businesses. Sadly Daniel's bookstore is closing.
Thankfully, among the things that can be depended on are the walking American Women (and Kiwi women who appreciate America). Every Friday morning they gather at the changing sheds in Kohi for a walk to St Heliers and back. The members of the group shift and change, but the spirit remains uplifting. I was energized!
We always gather at the Cafe On Kohi for coffee afterward and more catching up. These women were instrumental in my positive New Zealand experience. Naturally, they asked if I still wanted to get back to St Heliers. Of course, and at the same time, it is lovely to be appreciated in my work and to be near family. Who knows what the future holds. And when Ruth reminded me to touch the rock so "I'd be sure to return" at the end of the trail in St Heliers, I found myself practically hugging it.
P.S. Ruth is an avid reader and the leader of a book club and a member of another. Of course I asked what she's been reading... Ruth recommends The Woman Upstairs by Claire Massaud.