Was yesterday special? Kind of. We observed a minute's silence for the second anniversary of the 29 men dead at Pike River. But I think of those men most days.
I never knew any of them personally, but I know members of their families, and no narrative of West Coast early 21st century struggle makes sense without acknowledging these men.
That is why when I mourn the loss of the last butchery on the West Coast (closing this Christmas), of the Smelting House Cafe in Greymouth (great coffee I'm told, superb lunch food I know from experience), buildings evacuated overnight due to earthquake risk and the latest is AMI moving out of our small wet town, it is sad but people are all alive.
The old timers on the Coast give me the greatest sense of looking forward. 'It's happened before', they tell me.
'The Coast will recover.'
'That's the nature of a mining town, boom and bust,' another tells me.
So we stay. We farewell our friends and wish them luck. We cross our fingers and toes for our friends looking for work and we remind ourselves to be grateful for good health, our family and our own blessing of secure work.
The sun is still beautiful setting over the western horizon and the beach has its own pebbly charm. Our local kids are fabulous and the adults not bad either. I keep planting plants. Tomatoes, flowers, herbs, onions. Byuing local feels responsible rather than extravagant. Everyone deserves somewhere to love. I'm grateful that I have what everyone deserves and not everyone gets. Kia kaha Mawhera.