Yesterday morning after I dropped the kids off at daycare and school, I took my dog for a walk. It was a beautiful bright blue Hawkes Bay day and as I wandered along I thought how lucky I am to live in such a glorious place, that my kids got to be real kids in a place small enough to have that community feel. My usual walk is to go up one of the many sets of steps that led up Napier Hill, one of them being Chaucer Rd steps that leads up onto Hospital hill (these are really steep...a form of torture!). For some reason that I now just see as instinct I decided I didn't need to torture myself today as I run up and down enough stairs at home...running after children. So I took a brisk stroll along the boardwalk looking out to sea, thinking of my sister and her family that live in America and how are desperately homesick they are....and how lucky we are!
If I had taken the route I had set out to, I would have walked right into the chaos that was about to hit Napier.
I arrived home around 10.15 (coffee time) ready to get on with the days work. The phone rung and my girlfriend told me to get in the house and lock the doors as there was a gunman on the loose in Ahuriri (where I live) and that people had already been injured! OMG...this was unreal!! Now I know that there was actually no immediate danger to me it was terrifying at the time, because no one seemed to know where this guy was.
As they day unfolded kids were picked up..no one was allowed near the hill, everyone hunkered down! I have two lots of people staying that cannot get to their houses as they are too close to this guys house...within firing distance!
The feeling in Napier today is one of unease, we realise how small this place is and how affected we all are. The policeman killed is family of people I know, One of the injured police is our local constable that works two blocks down in our little part of Napier. One of the hero's of the day is someone we see on our walks. And yes even the guy who is responsible is a friend of my neighbour, friends and associates...yes Napier is small and at a time like this everyone is affected.
My son J (4) said to me ' mum my friend and I saw a man running down the street with a gun shooting policemen'!...at their daycare yesterday they were not allowed near windows, and worst for me is that my 12 year old, had only and hour earlier walked past this guys house and was close enough to hear the shots that killed someone!
Today there seems to be no resolve for all the family's involved and I include the gunman's family in this...he is after all a son to his poor mother and my heart goes out to her as well, we bring them up as best we can but no one can anticipate a persons outcome and what their limits are!
I caught and old INXS song today the lyrics go ...'the devil inside, the devil inside every single one of us has the devil inside'.......