Making it last

Making it last

Visiting my friend Jennie, enjoying her garden in the mellow afternoon of autumn, and watching the tuis feeding. Jennie’s husband John makes these ingenious bird feeders, using an upturned bottle that dispenses sugar water into a bowl. The tui first sits and...
Emptying out

Emptying out

 I’ve been reflecting on letting go and emptying out, taking my cue from nature’s shedding, and also in preparation for the autumn retreat I’m leading in a couple of weeks’ time.As I took an afternoon walk, I found the berms covered with...
Earth hour

Earth hour

I’m preparing my candles for Earth Hour tonight, from 8.30 to 9.30 pm. Earth hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million people and over 2000 businesses turned off their lights for one hour to take a stand against climate change and unsustainable energy...
In the clover

In the clover

In spring I photographed this very bank, when it was shimmering white with onion weed. Now, in autumn, red clover is sprinkled around, with its fulsome flowers passing into seed heads.On the way back from my walk a couple of days ago, I noticed a splash of colour...
A day of gifts

A day of gifts

After sitting on the beach, I felt inspired to pick up my coloured pencils and draw. It’s been a full day, in which I received a surprise gift from my friend Anne, sent all the way from England.Two years ago I admired her turquoise jacket and now, after much...
Serenity and gratitude

Serenity and gratitude

The sun came out again, and another mellow day unfolded. I took my writing to the beach, and sat there while the seagulls stood in the weed-covered sand, and clouds and yachts sailed by in sky and sea. The sand was dotted with small mounds, created by tiny creatures....
Autumn equinox

Autumn equinox

Today is autumn equinox, and it’s gently raining. I discovered the local grower’s market yesterday and stocked up on produce: feijoas, which are beginning to appear, tomatoes which are finishing, farm eggs, many lush greens, and best of all, fat...
Sunflower for Japan

Sunflower for Japan

Early autumn is a time of many festivals. Here in Auckland, the cultural festival is ending, and Ponsonby Rd was having a market day. The streets were lined with stalls, sizzling food, musicians, and many passers-by.I bought this sunflower, which contains both summer...
Reflections on rebuilding

Reflections on rebuilding

Today, on the edge of the gently lapping tide, I made another little shrine for Christchurch. In the golden light of early autumn the beach is still warm at the end of the day. The benevolence of the season helps me to embrace hope. Rebuilding will happen. It always...
Making the most of it

Making the most of it

Out at the coast over the weekend, the surf was still refreshing, but not too cold. There we were, not knowing if this would be the last swim or not, making the most of the golden weather. Cabbage tree turning flowers to berries koromiko flower Pomarderis karo seed...
Autumn’s richness

Autumn’s richness

The sun is shining; the days are warm. The oaks are shedding their acorns, which pop out of the little cups at their base. A feijoa tree drops fruit over a fence, on to the pavement. Berries are abundant, and bright with colour. Ivy leaves are shifting allegiance. And...
Hearts for Japan

Hearts for Japan

Last night, at an interfaith gathering, we contemplated spiritual teachings on the theme of uncertainty. This theme was chosen before the Japanese earthquake had occurred, and proved to be even more pertinent than expected. One of the readers was a Japanese woman, who...
Seed time

Seed time

Everywhere, nature is shedding.Flax plants stand up proudly along the coast. Their pods are cracking open, and raining black seeds on to the ground beneath.I gather them, and make a basket shape from the leaves, wanting to contain and hold what is flying away. The...
Autumn seeds and flowers

Autumn seeds and flowers

On the hill, toi toi waving freely. At the base, blackberries ripening. In the bush, a bridal shower of houhere (lacebark). Autumn is here on the coast, with its own rich beauty and...
Evening beauty

Evening beauty

Sometimes nature is so beautiful that I forget her fierce aspect, that brings floods, earthquakes and cyclones.There’s something about a new moon that always moves me: seeing that clear slice of silver in the sky, and feeling a new cycle begin.When the new moon...
Shedding

Shedding

I spent the day getting rid of things, clearing my desk, throwing away old papers that were no longer needed. I hadn’t planned the day that way; it just happened. I had thought to continue working on my new projects, but somehow the mess had been interfering...
Autumn gift

Autumn gift

Autumn is here; the days and nights have been nippy and the change in weather quite abrupt. I felt a bit caught out; not quite ready for this. But today I received a gift. After spending time being interviewed by a research student, talking about seasonal food for...
Rebuilding

Rebuilding

I made shrines for the broken hearts of Canterbury today. The beach was empty, the tide receded; rain threatening. The sand was gritty with shell fragments. Pieces of glass had been sea-shaped into curious little objects. I placed green leaves for healing, as...
Solidarity

Solidarity

Today in Auckland many of us wore red and black, the colours of Canterbury, as a way of showing our support.Today at 12.51 pm, all over the country, we paused for 2 minutes’ silence.This afternoon I searched for red and black on the beach, and with the tide...