The gift of green time

The gift of green time

  Do you find yourself getting caught up in a lot of activity at this time of the year?   A few days ago I gave myself a treat. After delivering a load of orders for my new book to the post shop, I took some time out at my favourite small beach on the...

Tasting the tōtara

Tasting the tōtara

    When walking in the park yesterday and saying hello to a tōtara tree that I like to visit, I checked to see if any of the spent flowers were now turning into berries.   To my surprise, I discovered one bright berry hidden amongst the leaves. I've...

Spring Possibilities

Spring Possibilities

  This spring I am thinking of children. The energy of spring is full of delight and possibilities, as the season lifts its face to the sun and fragrance drifts through the air.   On Sunday I wandered through my local park, enjoying an abundance of...

How to birth in a bumpy spring

How to birth in a bumpy spring

Pregnant in Paris: that was me in 1970, with not a female relative in sight. How could I prepare myself to give birth to my baby? I took refuge in books on natural childbirth. And that's when I discovered that ‘transition’ is...

Storms and Setbacks

Storms and Setbacks

The odd thing was that just a moment earlier I had driven into a quiet patch where the rain had stopped and the air was still.   I flicked off my windscreen wipers and drove into a side street.   The next moment, in a blast from the skies, my little car was...

Petals on the pathways

Petals on the pathways

      You are walking along, head down, in that way of winter, trying to keep warm and dry as the rain falls. Your thoughts are dismal like the day. Then suddenly you spot a flash of colour on the path. You pick up two pink scooped petals. They look...

The kindness of oranges

  ‘Be kind’, she said, and people were during the time of Lockdown Level 4, smiling on the street, offering help with shopping, and phoning to check on friends and neighbours.   And then life reverted to busyness, rush hour traffic, and harassing by unkind...

Musing on Matariki – 1

    On Sunday, June 21, Matariki's return will take place on the winter solstice. Although Matariki wanders around the solstice, it doesn’t often coincide in this way. This year the return of the sun and the return of the stars will happen together.  ...

When the rain falls

  As the rain fell steadily, soaking the earth, I watched the season tilt towards winter and thought of Irihapeti.   Twenty years earlier, we sat in her Wellington garden, talking of grief and how it so often accompanies the midlife crossing.  She was...

Crossing the threshold

Crossing the threshold

Every season takes us across a threshold, where we leave behind what we have known and shift into something new. In this time of the pandemic, other thresholds present themselves as well. Today, on the edge of winter and the storytelling season, I have a story for...

Season of Remembrance

  The wooden bin in the Department Store was full of rag dolls, each one the size of a small child. The dolls had smiling faces, woollen hair that could be plaited or teased apart, and limbs that could be easily arranged.   I smiled too as I picked one up...

Let nature hold you

    Have you noticed the health of the earth right now? Smog has lifted from the cities, discharge has eased off in the waterways, and C02 emissions are dramatically reduced worldwide.   Many people have reported an increase in bird song as cities have...

When your world changes

  Two weeks ago I was striding along a coastal walkway, looking out over a sparkling sea, feeling free and expansive. I had just planted autumn kale and spinach in my bach garden and had the soil ready for the next stage of broad beans and carrots.   Two...

Ngāhuru – Harvest

Ngāhuru – Harvest

The woman sitting next to me at the concert pulled a paper bag out of her handbag. 'Would you like two pears from my tree?'  This was rather surprising, first as I knew her only slightly and hadn't seen her for two decades. Second, we were sitting on pews in a church...

How seasons change-2

How seasons change-2

    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...

Seasons Newsletter: Balancing extremes

Seasons Newsletter: Balancing extremes

    As the season changes towards First Fruits, how do you balance extreme realities? — the inert face of parched earth with the juiciness of ripe stone fruits and berries?   (If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, read on, because extremes can also be...

Be Sustained 2020

Be Sustained 2020

Have you drawn closer to nature over summer?   I certainly have, and I'm aware of what a beneficial effect this has had on my health and wellbeing in these troubled times. Finding the wonder in nature each day has enlivened my relationship with the natural world....

Solstice blessing 2019

Solstice blessing 2019

    Solstice Blessing   May you cherish your loved ones May you cherish the earth May you cherish your own dear self   As the wheel turns at Solstice   Amidst the busyness, remember to slow down, breathe, and open to blessings.  ...

Time for Trees (2)

Time for Trees (2)

    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...

Watching the wind

  Do you gnash your teeth and snarl at those windy days when gusts and gales whistle and howl around your house and down the chimney, when they blow so fiercely that if you venture outside, you are immediately thrown off balance?   Do you find yourself...

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