Solstice Suns

Solstice Suns

  What are the rituals that you never forget?    For me, it's the ones that take place outside — yes, even in winter. Two solstice rituals come to mind as I sit here to write to you on this cold, bright winter's day. The first takes me back to the warmth of...

Missing Matariki

Missing Matariki

  It's June, and here in New Zealand an important event has occurred in the night sky: the return of Matariki, a beautiful star cluster that many will know by its European name: The Pleiades.   Matariki the wanderer dips above and below the horizon, teasing...

Longing for lemons

Longing for lemons

  I gaze out the ranch-sliders to the little grove of lemon trees, scanning the sharp leaves and hard green fruit, hoping to find one that is ripe. Early winter is approaching here, and it's too soon for lemons. But I have a cold and am longing for a lemon drink....

Remembrance

  Outside the dark, noisy café, a woman sat on the pavement. ‘You’ve caught the sun,’ I said, as I stopped to talk.   'Yes’, ‘it’s sweet autumn’, she said. I agreed. 'These fine days feel as if they could last forever.' ‘But they won’t, the woman said,...

Saying goodbye to summer

I caught myself feeling sulky. I know I 'should' know better, but the truth is, I felt let down this weekend when I woke in my cabin on the land to find that I felt cold, and had to turn on the heater for the first time in months.     Yes, it's that time of...

The Last tomato

The Last tomato

Each morning I sit on my balcony in the sun and quietly eat my breakfast. As I enjoy my muesli, I watch the last tomato slowly ripening on a withering plant.   I feel I'm in the presence of a mystery, as I watch the colour deepen a little more each day. How does...

Equinox blessings

Equinox blessings

Happy autumn equinox! And to you in the northern hemisphere, happy spring equinox!   At equinox, light and dark, day and night come into balance. At equinox, our two hemispheres of this planet come into balance. We are together, poised in this moment of...

How seasons change

How seasons change

 How do how seasons change? Once again we are entering a period of transition: summer to autumn in the southern hemisphere, winter to spring in the north. What is your idea about how seasons change? I notice that a lot of people think of seasonal change as something...

Keeping a nature diary

Keeping a nature diary

Have you ever kept a nature diary? I kept a small one last year while undertaking a ‘Rewilding’ challenge. The idea was to spend 30 minutes outside, every day for 30 days, and to make different observations each day, according to different instructions. I didn’t...

Giving and receiving

Have you ever been really surprised by a gift?   A wave of pleasure swept over me when an old friend arrived with a bouquet of flowers. After she had gone, the flowers continued to give pleasure each time I looked at them. And then there was the totally...

Fresh perspectives

Fresh perspectives

  How was your holiday?  Has it relaxed and opened you up to new levels of wellbeing? Have you returned with fresh perspectives? It's a big transition, taking a holiday. And also returning from one. You may be finding some of this challenging. I’ve been hearing...

Solstice Blessing 2015

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 to summer...

Be refreshed

  Do you find that summer draws you closer to water?  For many of you it will be the sea, but it could also be a stream, waterfall or lake. Being close to water brings about a special kind of renewal.   The waters of childhood Do you have memories of a...

Time for trees

Time for trees

Have you ever sat in silence in a forest? If so, you may have noticed how full of change it is.The moment to come is different from the moment just passed. Wind stirs the air and shakes the leaves, creating sounds that shift and change. Light comes and goes,...

Planting time

Planting time

Have you done any planting yet?  I spent a long weekend on my block of land recently, with my hands in the soil. After pulling out armfuls of onion weed, I began to wake the garden up with a thorough digging. My spade unearthed one fat worm after another, and as I...

Spring Dilemma

Spring Dilemma

    We are approaching Whiringanuku, Beltane, Flowering and Sap-Rise, (on October 31): the festival of regeneration. And I'm reposting my message from last year, for there's no regeneration in the death imagery of Halloween, which spills out of the shops in...

Growth Rings

Growth Rings

What has a sick child to do with the growth rings on a tree?    When my seven-year old granddaughter arrived for her much anticipated sleepover, the first thing that happened was that she threw up. Her mother quickly said, ‘I’ll take her home.’ Sizing up the...

How to green again

  Have you ever found that your inner season is out of sync with the outer season?   This can easily happen in early spring. ‘Spring is sooner recognised by plants than by people,’ says a Chinese proverb. The Chinese knew that while plants respond to the...

Spring cleaning

  It was a bit of an issue at Customs in 1986 when I brought a small millet broom back from my travels.   My friends laughed at me. 'Why would you . . . ?' It wasn't just a souvenir. I'd been staying in an ashram in India, and my 'seva', the service I was...

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