I’m off to Christchurch this weekend, certainly not for the first time – I grew up in Canterbury, so my trips back have been pretty regular.
For the first time though, I’m feeling something new about Christchurch – I really, really don’t want to go.
It’s not that I’m not looking forward to seeing my family and catching up with some friends, or that I’m especially concerned about another ‘big one’ (although I am somewhat worried), it’s so much simpler than that: I haven’t visited since the February earthquake and I just don’t want to see it like it is now.
I know that parts of the city are virtually untouched and for the most part I won’t be near the red zone areas, but I can’t help but think that it will be difficult NOT to go near the cordon in the centre of town – while I don’t want to see the Cathedral all broken and sad, I also don’t think I’ll be able to resist seeing it in real life. I guess it’s part- morbid fascination and part- desire to see it for real, because the images in the news seem more like Kabul or Baghdad than the reality of somewhere I know so well.
This was taken mid-September, near my parents’ farm – compared to what happened in February, it almost seems minor now.
I do have the luxury of leaving after the weekend, something so many aren’t able to do, so I’ll ease up on feeling sad and start being thankful.