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When we left Cambridge, Waikato, we were given some warm socks so that we could survive the cold South Island winters. Yudy and I had lived in Christchurch in the winter of 2013 in a fairly cold house with little money to run the heating. My Caribbean wife therefore remembered Christchurch winters with some trepidation. Because our current house is fairly big and not that well insulated, we thought we would face a cold winter. Of course, we knew that Canterbury winters are nothing compared to Swiss winters, but in Switzerland houses are warm and centrally heated and thick clothing keeps people relatively warm outside.

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By now temperatures are warming up (even though we still have the occasional cold day), the first flowers are in bloom and spring is on its way. The worst of winter seems to be over. We look back and ask: “Was that it?” It was nothing like we feared. The house was considerably warmer than we thought, particularly once the new heat pump was installed. Even though there was a string of cold, rainy days, we coped quite well. The children were a bit disappointed that they did not experience any snow.

We’re grateful that spring has begun now and look forward to (a hopefully not too hot) summer. Here in the South Island spring is a bit more dramatic as the shoots of new growth remind us about the richness of life after a somewhat bare winter.


I wonder whether we sometimes exceedingly fear the dark times in our lives. For they are part of our lives and often help us to appreciate the brighter times. Our life, too, has its seasons.

See! The winters is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Song of Songs 2:11–13

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