It’s silent here at the bach. No longer is little Mira’s bright voice to be heard, saying ‘I want to look it’, or ‘Why, Granny?’, or ‘I like it.’ But in the silence, the empress—known to Maori as kereru (wood pigeon)—has come to visit.

 She’s as large as a small hen, and yet she perches in the kawakawa tree with such grace, lifting her head between mouthfuls,

then twisting and turning to find the best way to swoop down on more kawakawa berries.

They look like little candles – ‘on a christmas tree’ – said Mira, when we were walking beside them yesterday.

The empress finds some interesting angles, using her large wings or tail to help her balance. In the silence here, I was able to approach quite close. After a good feed, she flew away, but as soon as I started writing about her, I heard a whoosh of wings, and here she is back again.

I can see her through the window. She feeds so patiently. It’s a lot of work and balancing for each little seed head, but for the empress, feeding is unhurried.
She reminds me to slow down, maintain balance, and take my time. Thank you empress, for your gracious presence.

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