And summer’s lease . . .

And summer’s lease . . .

The storm has carried away millions of tiny seeds, blowing them through every door and window, over my clothes, into the bookshelf, and on to the floor. Seeds now form a carpet over the concrete of the carport. I pause to study them, and carve out a heart shape. They...
Beach doodles

Beach doodles

Another weekend storm has now blown over, and I take a walk to the local beach. The tide’s edge is heavy, loaded with black fronds of sea grass and other debris. As the water creeps slowly in, with its storm-cast burden, I doodle in the sand with whatever I...
Recovery

Recovery

After the storms of the weekend, a perfect summer’s day arrived. I drove to St Heliers, along Auckland’s waterfront, for some dental work. While a crown was being made I sat on the beach under the shade of a pohutukawa tree, resting my eyes on the soothing...
Summer gifts

Summer gifts

An old friend came to visit, bearing gifts from his garden on Waiheke Island. It’s usually dry over there, but this year the gardeners are happy because of the torrential rain that fell over the weekend.He brought purple beans (that turned dark green when I...
Timeless

Timeless

There’s nothing like wandering up and down a sandy stream for entering a timeless world. I feel like a child myself as I follow Mira and her boat. I am filled with the lazy contentment of summer. Yet there is time in this picture too, for three generations are...
Low tide

Low tide

Back on the west coast, walking by the sea, I happen to be there at an extreme low tide (affected by last night’s full moon no doubt). It’s not often I can walk so far out, around the rocks. The smell was tangy, with the promise of sea-food. It’s a...
Catching the moon

Catching the moon

Walking out in the summer night, I stalked the full moon. It appeared over roof tops, then dipped below tall trees. It flashed through branches for a moment, then was gone behind bushy foliage. Along the path to the waterfront I finally caught it. Here it is above,...
Summer moon

Summer moon

Last night when I got home, the air was still. High in the sky I saw the summer moon, swelling towards fullness, sailing past the cypress tree. Clouds gathered underneath, the clouds that today have brought welcome rain to thirsty trees and gardens.Once, people...
New order

New order

Can what is broken ever be mended? I mused on this as I played in the sand. I thought of the devastating floods in Australia, and the many homes and towns which will never be the same. I remembered the times in my life where new order emerged out of the chaos of...
Seeking shade

Seeking shade

On these hot dry days I find myself seeking shade. My eye is drawn in to the cool blue of agapanthus, the acquamarine of the sea, or the shadows carved out by aloe leaves. Into these shady interiors I rest in subtlety, taking refuge from the harsh heat of pavements...
Footprints

Footprints

‘Tepscams,’ said Mira, ‘make tepscams’. It took a while to figure this one out. I had to backtrack in my mind to the spill that occurred when she was watering my pot plants on the balcony. Then I got it: ‘Oh, footprints! You want to make...
Beach hearts

Beach hearts

Playing on the beach again. First I collect a few objects, enjoying their contrasting colours and textures on a bed of white shells. Then I find myself reflecting on love, making two separate hearts out of found pieces on the beach. Then I feel that they are a little...
The leafiness of trees

The leafiness of trees

Do the trees, in full leaf, find their canopies burdensome? Is it a strain for their branches to hold up such large leafy heads? The flame tree, that I’ve watched come into leaf so gradually, is now in full dress. The melia, whose sprouting branches I charted in...
Leafy streets

Leafy streets

Back in the city, I walk the streets. People are still away on holiday, and the streets are quiet. There’s something special about a city that has emptied out over summer. It feels gentle, and the beauty of the streets is easier to see without the distraction of...
Farewell

Farewell

The holiday is over. This glorious time of drifting, playing, pottering, snoozing, swimming, walking, cooking, eating and standing still in wonder, has come to an end. Last night I caught a special light on the hill: slanting highlights and long shadows, which matched...
Little suns

Little suns

Mornings at the bach are special. I’m woken by the serenade of the tuis, whose song is so much more resonant and throaty than the tuis in town. The air is cool and I wander among the garden plants, checking how they are, giving them water, and picking off bugs....
Summer simplicity

Summer simplicity

Life is deliciously simple at the bach. Even though some tasks  take longer, time stretches a long hand as we relax into another week of holiday.For water, we depend on rain to fill the tank. The toilet is a long-drop in the trees. Music comes from records played...
Back in the surf

Back in the surf

The end of the day is the best time to swim when summer has arrived in full force, with a blazing sun. I got back on my board after twisting my ankle when I was thrown off some days ago, and rode the waves once more. What a good feeling to be fizzing in the surf...
Morning visitor

Morning visitor

On my way to the ‘long drop’ in the morning I heard a distinctive sound in the tree tops: a ‘whoosh-whoosh’ of wings. Aha, a wood pigeon! I thought, and sure enough, there it was perched in the top branches of the kawakawa, pulling off one...
New Year’s eve ritual

New Year’s eve ritual

Last night we celebrated the new year with a simple ritual. During the day we’d all contemplated what 2010 had been about, and had searched for symbols to express its different aspects. We’d also found symbols for our hopes for 2011. In our ritual we...