A splash of yellow

by | Jul 18, 2011 | Uncategorized | 14 comments

It was wild and cold out here on the west coast this weekend. The rain was lashing my face, and the lens of my camera as I sneaked it out for some photos.

The rain squall intensified as I attempted to photograph the hill across the stream.
But when I returned to the bach, my eye caught a patch of yellow. On this monochromatic day, that little splash of colour stood out.

The little kowhai tree has burst into flower. Usually kowhai trees flower in spring, but over the last few years, when this one first began to flower, it chose the coldest month of winter in which to put on a show.

Each time it happens, I remember my first grandchild, a little girl who died at six weeks. The kowhai tree was planted on her whenua (placenta). The anniversary of her death is on July 21. She would have been 18 this year, in the flowering of her youth.
This little flower reminds me of a golden tear drop.


  1. Ruth

    What a beautiful reminder, Juliet.

  2. juliet

    Thank you Ruth, and welcome back!

  3. Lynley

    Nature can offer such poignancy and so many memories through its beauty and timing.

    I saw our first magnolia bud just appearing today. A week or so later than your first one sighted Juliet.

  4. Anonymous

    Thinking of the gold in winter and of the young woman who isn’t and is..

    And the heart, a big place to hold all this…

    Thank you, once again for sharing these spaces and these edges; born new each moment in you.


  5. lifeonthecutoff

    I always like the planting of a tree or bush in honor of a life, Juliet; whether the coming in of life, or, sadly, the going out. What bittersweet memories the kowhai tree has and a special way to mark your granddaughter’s short time here. I’m so glad you had your camera at the ready.

  6. juliet

    Thank you Lynley, Sue and Penny. Nice to hear of the magnolia flowering further south Lynley; and for your acknowledgments all of you, and beautiful words. Bittersweet memories is an apt phrase Penny.

  7. Joan

    Such a poignant post Juliet. When we lose a child there are so many milestones that echo in our hearts.. milestones never met. I know I too will think of your little granddaughter when I see a golden kowhai flower.

  8. Joan

    Funny how word verifications often fit.. I was thinking how the kowhai flower, and other signs, are like little reminders that pop up.. and the WV was ‘ding’

  9. Lynley

    I checked my photo diary that I did from Sept 2007- Sept 08 and note that the magnolia showed its first bud that year on
    Aug 29th. Nature’s variations at play.

  10. juliet

    Thank you Joan, for these lovely comments, and the ‘ding’. And Lynley, how fascinating to be able to measure these changes because of your photo diary. We really are having a warm winter, with signs of a very early spring it seems.

  11. Anne Dean Ruffell

    How strange that I should come to your blog today after a time of inactivity on the computer as it is the 21st July. I remember the sadness of that time and am glad that the kowhai has come into bloom on her birthday, with a perfect golden tear drop which will soon become a beautiful flower to celebrate her short stay on this earth.

  12. growMama

    i am touched by your words…so beautiful even to be blessed with such a short stay on this earth…and that you honour her memory. You, her mama and papa and many others. i will remember every time i see a kowhai flower too. This gives me an idea – i had a loss recently, i will choose a flower that represents him for me – then i can use that flower as a connection to that soul. Thanks for that Juliet.

  13. juliet

    Thanks Anissa, for visiting and your comments. Yes, it was a short but very sweet stay. It’s amazing how the kowhai now flowers in time for her anniversary. It has become such a precious way of connecting.


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