Being in nature and being in community: what a rich and nourishing combination this is. Once a year I attend a gathering of people who are concerned for the earth and its people. This year we tried out a completely new location.

The school camp at Port Waikato was set up for children’s health in the 1920s, and has been cared for with great love over the years. The accommodation is simple, but clean and comfortable.

A local farmer gifted his land for the health camp on condition that the hillside of bush was retained.

It was the perfect place for our annual gathering.

 I learned more about the bush, the dedicated work that my friends are doing in the world, and I had the opportunity to test out one of my ‘inspirational ideas for 2015’ (which you’ll be hearing about in due course).

There were plenty of spaces to retreat to, for contemplation, journal writing or simply to sit quietly and integrate the stimulating ideas that we had heard during the day. This one is ‘the chapel’. I set out expecting to find a building, and then realised that the ‘chapel’ was completely open to the bush and the sky.

I came away feeling completely recharged, and ready for another year of exciting work.

Oh, and the children had a great time too.