This city and I have been though a lot.

Seven years ago it woke me up as it bellowed and roared like nothing we ever thought possible. It took my house, and my family home with it.

Less than six months later it woke up again, this time, the tantrum shorter but angrier. It almost took my life, and took lives of many others, seventeen of which from a building that I will carry with me until the day I finally do pass.

Then for two more years it took a lot more – buildings, suburbs ceased to exist, I lost friends and family in the mass exodus, and it put the final axe to a relationship.

This city has taken a lot.

But like weeds, amongst rubble, the scrappy, strange, and strong rise again. Like New Orleans before us, a rebirth has to happen.

And after several Springs of false starts, where people declare ‘this will be the Summer’.

I think we really can say ‘THIS IS THE SUMMER’.

The Summer of rebirth.

Yesterday I went for a walk though our city. The sun had finally emerged after a long, wet, grey winter. And it was like 10,000 people had come out of hibernation, as we strode, stunned and bleary eyed at the 500 new things that had seemingly appeared and risen from the ashes in the past four months – buildings, shops, bike lanes, pathways, courtyards, lanes and life! So much life!

Sometimes it feels very trendy to endlessly moan about the city, and what isn’t happening. But whilst we have issues to face (but then, doesn’t everywhere?) if you stop and actually take some time to appreciate what is happening, there’s an awful lot of light and joy to see, enjoy and let into the heart.

To be negative is a frame of mind, but often, a cowardly way to see the world.

There’s no shame in seeing the good.

So let’s just take a minute and actually savour and enjoy what’s going on.

This rebirth of our own.


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