So on the way back from The Family Celebration today, I took the opportunity to kill two more nostalgic birds with one stone, and stopped in Tauranga to visit my first place of full-time employ, Otumoetai Primary, where my sidekick of many years and super-duper friend Zara is now DP.
Now although we love each other dearly, Zara and I really are quite different, and we both find it amusing that some people find us so similar. We had one parent at our previous school who could never figure out which one of us was which ("Are you Ms McIndoe or Ms Fothergill?"). And she wasn't even blonde - I think it was just that we were!
We were doubly amused when Zara regaled a tale on Sherwood Street crossing last week - a parent stopped and told Zara she reminded her so much of a teacher she used to have years ago here at Otumoetai Primary. Yes you guessed it, it was me. (How to make one feel ancient...)
It was fun and strange at the same time walking around the school. I mean it was eons ago that I was there and so much has changed, but no matter how long you are away from a place of significance (I was there 8 years), it still conjures up all sorts if weird feelings and memories.
The Bay of Plenty as a whole does that to me. I can't fully explain the feeling I have when I am there. I can only describe it as knowing it truly is my Turangawaewae. My body tells me that is ultimately where I belong. Maybe it's because it is steeped in memory, whereas Auckland is still very much my present; the 'place' is not yet under my skin.
But you never know, given time the memories I am making here may become eternal tattoos at some stage as well. After all, what REALLY maketh the memories? ...
He aha te mea nui
O tenei ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the most important thing in this world?
People, people, people.