Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Southern Sky


I'm a New Zealander married to an Australian. We've been married twenty eight years and during that time we have lived in each country several times. There can't be any two countries on earth that have the close relationship that Australia and New Zealand have. Citizens are free to come and go in each country as they desire. We can live in either place and claim government support and healthcare. We swap emergency services staff when disaster strikes (Australian police and fire services staff are still in Christchurch now helping with the earthquake recovery). New Zealanders created a unique word for this kind of relationship - 'cuzzybro'. More than a cousin, almost a brother. It's a word that has kind of fallen from favour now, shortened back to 'cuz' or 'bro'. Kiwis are quick to call you 'bro'.

For all that, we do have many differences. One of the most obvious differences is the landscape. Each time I travel to between countries I am struck by the change in palette. Australia has big, big, blue skies and dusty vegetation. New Zealand often has greyer skies but the foliage is green - often brilliant green.

Here we are then, a gum leaf and a fern frond. Sharing the same sky but with a slightly different light.

9 comments:

Gerrie said...

This was very enlightening to me. I didn't know about the differences. I hope that I can come visit both countries - it is on my bucket list.

A lovely interpretation of the colors.

Diane said...

Ooh! This has such a lovely serenity and balance in it Kirsten -- and yet a tiny tension in the two leaves. I just love this. And I love what it represents. And I just love that bite out of the eucalyptus leaf which makes the whole thing so real -- and that once strip of mottled blue and white that looks like there's a shadow? Wonderful. (I'm gushing, I know, but I love this.)

Terri Stegmiller said...

Oh I find this information quite fascinating. And your interpretation of it is very well done. I love that word...cuzzybro!

Kristin L said...

Such a sweet story told in wonderful simplicity. I like it!

Karen said...

I am enlightened by this information also Kirsten, and I really like this quilt, the leaves are so recognizable and so different.

Linda Robertus said...

Love this one - you've captured both countries so well!

Françoise said...

Wonderful quilt!
I didn't know your two countries were so close. How nice.

Nikki said...

I love it! So calm and beautiful. I would love to come hang out under both skies.

Terry said...

Wonderful. You have made such a lovely blend from the grayed blues to the clear blues and the leaf and fern frond seem to be floating on a breeze. So subtle, but it evokes the easy drift between the two countries.