It's 5.00am Monday morning and I've been awake for ages thinking about the amazing weekend I've had. I hosted a sober gathering for 14 friends from the Living Sober crew. I had some of them stay here and we hired my sisters and my nephews homes to house the rest of them. They all wanted to come and see my new home so it was a good excuse for a get together. Wow! It has been just perfect. It could not have been better in any way, there is nothing at all I would change. The warmth and kindness, the raw truth and honesty, the continuous humour, the stories and the laughter. The food, the bounty of huge sides of freshly caught Akaroa salmon supplied by my friend, the effortless flow of my new kitchen and the easy comfort of everyone helping. The resident barrista who bought her own coffee machine and kept everyone very happy with her continuous and generous supply. The quiet late night guitar and beautiful singing of our wonderful friend, and the powerfully sweet sound of all our voices quietly blending in singing Hallelujia and Here Comes the Sun. Hundreds of small conversations allowing us to know each other better, the feelings of closeness, trust and understanding. The safety of each other's company. The pride in Rory, who stayed for several hours the first day. Everyone just loving the home he has created for me and enjoying getting to know him after hearing so much about him for the last couple of years.
There is a richness in my soul this morning as I look back and remember all the precious moments we have shared. The spirit of our laughter, the strength of our growing friendships, and the power of our connection has seeped into the walls and floors and ceilings of my home, making it warmer, richer, and filling it with memories of love and kindness and humour. I am so grateful to all who travelled so far to be here and share this weekend with me. I will never forget it.
A lovely long skype session with Mrs D who spoke to every one of us and then got me to take her on a virtual tour of the house, which I was hopeless at and she probably saw more ceilings and floor than anything else. A really nice wind down after most had left, with just three of us sitting by the fire and discussing the highlights, sharing some more food and feeling empowered by the experience we've had. And then just one staying a little longer, prolonging her drive home to Christchurch, and discovering we had a rainbow hovering above. A magic little moment to end a beautiful weeeknd. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.