In Therapy Leaving Kapiti

In Therapy Leaving Kapiti (Friends of Kapiti Library Competition, Sept., 2017

The government bought our two-acre property for the expressway. They provided three counselling sessions to help with the loss. This is an imagined conversation with my counsellor.

Counsellor (C):  So it’s a new life for you away from the captivating Kapiti Coast?

Me:  Yes, the time has come, lived here 16 years, visited off and on for many years before that.

C: I’ve been here all my life, love it, can’t imagine wanting to leave. Is there something driving you to leave?

Me: That’s a vexing verb under our circumstances … driven from our paradise by a motorway.

C: Slip of the tongue, sorry. So you’re happy to be going, feeling that your condition will be all right with a big move?

Me: My “condition”! This is only a mild and temporary down-feeling. 

C: All right, I can sense you’re feeling better.

Me: I’ve never been unwell actually. Just that things took a turn for the worse with the motorway going through our two-acre Shangri-la. Such a sad thing the destruction of nature we’ve enjoyed and loved, really gnaws at my innards … you know, someone said not to worry about the birds and creatures, they can go somewhere else. And a politician said there will always be winners and losers. Living must be simpler for some people. 

C: You feel you feel too much?

Me: No, just got some feeling for the environment and a lot of animosity over the loss of our cottage, fish pond, fruit trees, rhododendrons, natives, flaxes, tuis, kereru and “naked ladies”.

C: Ah, ah … amaryllis by any other name … . I agree about the road to some extent – the destruction will be terrible – but they’ll make good with ponds and other features, plant trees, put up noise barriers … .

Me: Could be “a terrible beauty born”! I see just a four-lane ashphalt strip ruining our coastal character, splitting communities, much more difficult for people to stop off … and all in the name of spending money on infrastructure. Did you know that the traffic has been reducing over the past 10 years?

C: But think of the choke points, the peak-hour traffic, the holiday gridlocks … .

Me: Oh, there are always yea-sayers for so-called progress at any cost … . (Pensive a moment). What do you love about the Coast?

C: The island – a sanctuary for wildlife, the gem of the Kapiti Coast, its forested facets and ever-changing colours in our varied weather  … and the history – Te Rauparah used to paddle his canoe up the swamp from South Raumati to Waikanae.

Me: That’ll be good to recall when you’re driving on the new road. 

C: Where will you go to? Any ideas?

Me: The Winterless North, the remote subtropics, as far away as possible from any possibility of a new road being built.

C: No more eviction and loss.  

Me: Ah, but we’ll take fond and abiding memories of life among nature on the Kapiti Coast. (498 words)