I’ve recently returned from a week in Sydney Australia, visiting a sick brother.
And on returning I’ve bent down to kiss the soil — as usual — just because I’m so glad to be back in Aotearoa.
Stupidly sentimental? Maybe, but at my time of life one can be forgiven a few peccadilloes.
Maybe the fact that I’ve been in a war zone country influences my thoughts.
Because Australia is now marching to the beat of war drums. And it gives me a strange feeling to see our closest allies jumping so quickly into another Middle East war. Australian jet fighters, ships,and troops are either in the Middle East or on the way.
At the same time, the war has bounced right back into Australia ,with its considerable Muslim population the centre of attention.
As I got ready to leave, a young Muslim man was shot dead in Melbourne after attacking two police officers. And a day or so before, in Sydney, just a few kilometres west of my brother’s hospital in Concord, Sydney, police raided nearly 20 houses in a search for Muslim terrorism suspects.
Armed police now patrol key centres and transportation hubs.
A nation at war; perhaps even at war with itself if things turn really nasty. So what will Key and the Nats do when Uncle Sam comes calling again ?
But back here again, I’m struck by several Acts of Random Kindness. These really must be considered part of our national fabric.
As I staggered round to the dairy this morning, fighting my way forward through icy gusts of wind and rain, an upmarket silver BMW limousine pulled over just ahead of me.
The left front passenger window slid down, and the driver leaned over: “Can I give you a lift somewhere?” he asked.
Another act of random kindness.
A month or so ago, my wife and I got confused as we tried to walk round the western edge of Kapiti Airport.
What had been planned as a short and pleasant walk to Mitre 10 and back became a marathon plod through scrub on rough tracks round the airport. My wife’s trust in my navigation, and her street shoes, were both almost in tatters.
When we finally reached the corner of Magrath Ave and Kapiti Road about 5pm, I decided to seek help as we were tired out and the light was fading.
I went into a Veterinary centre on the corner of Kapiti Road and Magrath Ave to ask if I could borrow a phone to call our daughter for a lift home
Well! Talk about friendly — the three women on duty sat us down on a comfy sofa, let us call our daughter’s cellphone — and then suddenly produced a tray of tea, cakes and biscuits to cheer us up!
Thank you everyone at Care Vets Kapiti for your very own Act of Random Kindness.
I could go on…
Suffice to say, it’s good to be home!