Preserving and giving

Preserving and giving

  I was on a quest. At first it seemed a simple enough thing to ask: who does home preserving, and has jars of produce that I might photograph?     What would you have said? A few replies arrived on Facebook. Avrael has preserved 17 jars of pears and...

First Fruits

First Fruits

    As First Fruits arrives, I am aware of how much ripening is taking place in nature. This is the season when I enjoy luscious tastings of apricots, nectarines, plums and blueberries. It feels wondrous that the sun's warmth can be stored in such a juicy...

Rhythms of creativity

Rhythms of creativity

    My creative spirit is breathing more freely, reaching more deeply, stimulated and revived by two things: immersion in nature, and connection with children. The summer outflow, or the winter drawing-in — both take us beyond our usual edges and into new...

Solstice Blessing 2017

Solstice Blessing 2017

    Imagine if . . . at this time of year, for every person who is speeding up, disconnecting and behaving erratically . . . there is someone who is slowing down, connecting deeply to the still centre within, and taking special care. Imagine what the lead up...

Two kinds of solstice

Two kinds of solstice

    As we approach the sacred time of solstice I am holding hands across the world with my northern hemisphere readers. On December 22, it will be summer solstice in the southern hemisphere, and winter solstice in the north. It is time to celebrate both....

Stability in springtime

Stability in springtime

    A tui is singing, persistently from the top of the flame tree. It's one of those bird calls that proclaims 'all is well.'   It's a reassuring message in this wild and changeable spring. After weeks of rain and wind, suddenly it seemed as if summer...

Kiss of spring

Kiss of spring

  Does your garden talk to you? Reach out to touch you, even? I was weeding and removing dying leaves from the spring bulbs that were well past their best. Only a few weeks ago the freesias were bursting with fragrance and blossom. Now the flowers were gone and...

How to grow again

How to grow again

    Sometimes the rhythm of a different season takes over. I've been resting after surgery for an injury to my knee. This slides me back into a kind of winter quiet, even as the outer season is bursting with activity and new growth. The enforced rest gives...

Equinox across the world

Equinox across the world

    I walked into a wind that was so strong it took all my strength to go forward. To my left, the sea was whipping up white horses. When I finally turned, it was a relief to feel the hand of the wind in the small of my back, helping me home. A black cloud...

Fresh start

Fresh start

Spring is here—Te Koanga—and with it, the chance to make a fresh start. Is there a fresh start calling you?     Maybe you’d like to freshen up your home, or a special relationship. Maybe you need to revive your energy and enthusiasm for life.   What...

Seasons of Creativity

Seasons of Creativity

  After the shift of the sun at First Light, and the beginning of warmer weather, I've been drawn outside to make nature art again.   I found myself making little nests from pohutukawa leaves, and placing white stones into them. Often it's only after working...

Do  trees sleep?

Do trees sleep?

  What do trees and grizzly bears have in common? According to forester Peter Wohlleben, who wrote The Hidden Life of Trees, bears prepare for hibernation by eating and eating to grow fat and sustain themselves for months of sleep with no food. And would you...

Winter words

Winter words

Caught   I found a poem caught in a tree   fluttering like a leaf,   struggling to fly free     Oh kite of many colours, You strayed  into the season of stark   You must wait now for the season of flight     when the light...

Matariki today

Matariki today

As I've been walking the shoreline, clearing dead tomato stems from my garden, and gathering firewood in the bush, I've been pondering on this question:     Why is Matariki is the first Maori festival to be celebrated with enthusiasm by Pakeha and Maori...

Preparing for winter

Preparing for winter

    Does the idea of preparing for winter seem an odd concept to you? If it does, let me remind you that you may know more about this than you think. People have always prepared for winter through the acts of harvest, storage and containment.  ...

Two faces of autumn

  Are you ready to enter the nurturing dark of winter? We have just passed southern hemisphere Samhain, Last Light, the threshold to Winter.   This year it's only recently that autumn has beguiled us with its golden time, that gift of a second summer. Before...

Nature pilgrimage

Nature pilgrimage

  How do you know when your soul is thirsty?    I'm talking about that deeper level of thirst, that you may not even recognise until it is satisfied. At the end of February I received an invitation to meet with friends and stay in a simple tramper's lodge on...

Ripening and Assimilating

Ripening and Assimilating

    Has summer made you tired? Have you had 'too much of a good thing'? Maybe you are all too ready to kick summer out the door? But don't be too hasty! Because there's an important seasonal task to be completed. And a good time to do it is in...

Return to wonder

Return to wonder

Does this picture make you smile?   Well I certainly smiled when I came across this scene on the small beach near my home. Someone had been playing with shells and stones, finding different ways to place them all over the pohutukawa tree that sprawled down to the...