My home is still beautiful.

I realized last night that even though the past year has been really stressful with the major earthquakes and continuous aftershocks, it’s also been one of the best years for Ben and me.  We didn’t kill each other during the days of crashing adrenaline levels and sleepless nights.  I feel like we can get through almost anything that comes our way now.

The sky on the way to the store was candy-floss pink and baby blue.  On the way back, the sun had disappeared and night was settling in.  It was a beautiful night.

Even though the sidewalks still have traces of silt, and are more like roller coasters than sidewalks, I like walking these streets.

Even though buildings and lots are empty, it doesn’t mean they won’t be filled again one day.

Even though I now think about home decor in terms of what will withstand an earthquake, it doesn’t mean I’m scared of living here.

Even though most of the walls in the city (including mine) have cracks in the plaster and paint, it doesn’t mean I want a different home.

Even though I’m really feeling tired now, after the past year of emotional highs and lows, I don’t want to give up on this place.

Even though we don’t really have a city center anymore, we are still a city.

I don’t think many folks who live outside Christchurch understand the people who have chosen to stay here after so many earthquakes.  I know they’ve probably heard that before.

Some of them think we’re crazy for staying, but Christchurch is our home.  Ben’s family, my New Zealand family, is here.

We’re not going anywhere.

I heart Chch.

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