I've been thinking a lot about loss the last few days. At a time when people's lives have been lost and others' fallen apart, nothing else is important, and any other kind of loss seems very insignificant. But it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
Vincent was born in Christchurch. He lived there until he was four, moved back there when he was seventeen, and stayed until he had to move for work after university. When things packed up in Auckland a couple of years ago, he packed up his car and went back there. No matter how long he lives away, Christchurch is home. For me, since my first visit, the two have been inextricably linked; I have only ever gone there to be with him, or since he moved up, his family. It made it very easy to love the city... and then I began to love the city for itself.
Buildings could never, ever be nearly as important as people. But they are a crucial part of memory and belonging; for city mice they are the land of turangawaewae.