I’m still a little in awe of this sunfish Dad and I found washed up on a North Canterbury beach last week. I’d spent a warm month north of Auckland and was making my way home, visiting parents en route. We enjoyed the usual lingering meals, cuppas, walks on the beach and a game of scrabble, in which two of us were almost thrashed by the third who’s supposed to be losing his memory. I thought about the great privilege I’ve had of being brought into the world by good people. Any fights in my life have been with myself, not with them. Their affection, and patience with one another after 55 years, is touching. (Hi, Mum.)
Back at home I plunged into work as the damp weather wrapped itself around the city. In turn I was wrapped (much more cosily) by a handful of meetings with friends. When else can you cover so many meaty topics in the course of an hour as face to face over a table, with cider, soup, or a bread-cup? We start with the biggies and go from there: love, death, and the whole calamity. Earthquakes, the resilience and tenderness of children; how and where we want to live; whether and how our work satisfies; what we’re reading; gods, goddesses, and dreams; psychology â€“ our own in particular; what’s for dinner; how was your wine and who’s that crossing the road? Tell me about that brooch, have we paid, and shall we walk to the corner?
Another sunfish was found near Kaikoura this week. I wonder what’s going on within this rare community of surface swimmers? I read that they’re curious about humans. Perhaps they each saw two women yakking on the beach over a dog-walk or a thermos of tea and, craning to listen in, were caught and tossed . . .