Monday

Read the one below this first

So we've been camping outside (illegally most of the time) and sometimes sleeping in Auntie Ruby. My body is so pain, as Mama Kim would say. But it's worth it. You would not believe the spectrum of blue in the water here. We've swum in chasms formed by glacial waterfalls, we've swum with the dolphins without paying a penny, my pals just finished their 15,000ft skydive, I almost stepped on a sea lion that looked like a boulder...it's been a great trip. I have lovely friends here who have me laughing stitches open every day.

But I can't stop thinking about Patrick and how much funner everything would be with him here. I miss him, and although I've never been much of a Valentine's Day celebrant, this one (our first and hopefully not last) is tough because we're apart and I want to do so much for him. Valentine's Day reminds us that Love is about red hearts and roses -- about reminding our lovers how much we still desire them. But Love is grander than that, more gruesome as well. It's about staying true for the long haul, it's tears, it's pain, it's the small things, it's hard work, it's waiting, it's growing together and apart and together again, it's sacrifice, it's valuing someone else's happiness above your own. How can a card or flowers compare with that? Chocolates, maybe...

Tonight I pitch my tent with the girls. I look up to the breathtaking South Island starry night sky. And I fall asleep chuckling softly, thinking of the time I left fresh laundry on the bed, went to the bathroom for a tissue, and walked in on Patrick folding my underwear.

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