Back from the bush

by | Jan 11, 2015 | Uncategorized | 10 comments

 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.


  1. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – it looks an amazing place, and how great the hillside bush is being kept.

    I went to a wedding in the Pines in the States years ago .. that was outside .. and made a huge impression on me. The chapel looks to be a wondrous place to just ‘be’ …

    Looking forward to hearing more about your inspirational idea .. cheers Hilary

  2. Cottage Tails

    oh wow what an awesome spot. I bet you got filled up to the top being there.

  3. Juliet Batten

    * Hilary, you are so right. The chapel is the perfect place for ‘being’. The bush is full of a variety of plants and very cooling in this hot summer we are having. I look forward to catching up with your blog now that I’m back on line.

    * Leanne, filled up to the top and overflowing! Thanks for visiting – nice to see you and I’ll catch up with your blog soon.

  4. Vicki Lane

    What a beautiful place! Here, deep in winter, ‘water like a stone,’ I feel revived at the sight of all that lush greenery.

  5. Juliet Batten

    Vicki, It was such a refreshing place, and I’m glad its energies are reviving you too, across the world and into your winter. Thank you, and I look forward to catching up with your blog soon.

  6. silkannthreades

    What a beautiful spot to BE. Welcome back. I have been refreshing my spirit reading your book.

  7. Juliet Batten

    Gallivanta, it was a beautiful and refreshing place. it’s also good to be back, & I’m so glad that ‘Spirited Ageing’ is refreshing your spirit. Thank you.
    PS I got your comment twice!

  8. Penny O'Neill

    Exactly what I need on another cold, snowy winter day, ,Juliet. I can almost feel the warmth and breath in the earthy fragrances. What a remarkable place. I particularly like the chapel.

    Good to see you back and read about your retreat.

  9. Hotly Spiced

    It certainly looks like you were in a very beautiful and serene setting. I love the idea of the outdoor chapel. And it really does look like the children were having a ball xx

  10. Juliet Batten

    Charlie, good to see you again. It was great to see the children being so included in the fun. They had their own programme and loved the whole setting.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to my newsletter

Click here to receive my Seasons Newsletter and free gift


Follow me on: