How we flowered!

by | Dec 16, 2012 | Uncategorized | 10 comments

 Everything is flowering profusely on the west coast this summer. Manuka and kanuka with their tiny white flowers give the hillsides a star-dusty look. My women’s group, that celebrates seasonal festivals together, gathered for a weekend together

 in my friend’s bach, which is higher up the hill than mine. From it we feel we are soaring like birds over the hidden valley in which the pohutukawa blooms, so richly this year,

and we drift out over the large inland dune that formed Lake Wainamu, hidden but always felt, in the V of the hills.

 Food, as always, was delicious and varied. This salad was made from rocket, smoked fish and hard-boiled eggs – very frisky on the palate.

Outside, the sea merged into mistiness or grew golden in the sunsets.

Here’s a little glimpse of our centerpiece, which we put together each time from various symbols that we bring: a paua shell fragment in a deep blue bowl of water,

 a cloth, candle, fruit and leaves as we formed our circle and contemplated the theme of giving and receiving,

and these cosmos flowers, which burst out in my bach garden the day before. With six women (2 absent this time), who have met for 20 – 28 years for this purpose, and with summer solstice so close, it’s no wonder that we felt expansive and grateful. We flowed into deep conversations, the stillness of meditation, and felt, yet again the full flowering of our love for one another and the richness of our lives.


  1. Penny O'Neill

    Such richness, indeed, Juliet. That is such long time to be meeting. How wonderful! How wonder, too, that salad looks. A feast for the eyes from my vantage point. I love the use of “very frisky on the palate”.

  2. juliet

    Penny, it was rich indeed. Isn’t it wonderful to have long-time friends. I can still taste the salad.
    Thank you.

  3. Lynley

    I love the splash of intense red of the Pohutukawa amidst the greenery.

    The Manuka is flowering profusely here too Juliet – it has been an abundant season for flowering despite the indifferent spring we have had.

    Flowers, food and friendship – just wonderful.

  4. juliet

    Hi Lynley, nice to know that the manuka is flowering for you too. It must be the warmer weather that is bring out the flowers so abundantly. Yes, it was just the right combination of ingredients for a wonderful weekend.
    Thank you.

  5. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – love the views from your mountain retreats .. the scenery allows much thought. I love cosmos flowers … it does sound as though it was a very rich and rewarding time …

    Cheers to (as Lynley says) flowers, food and friendship across the oceans .. Hilary

  6. juliet

    Hi Hilary, glad you are enjoying the scenery. The cosmos flowers are gorgeous; I love them too. It was a rich time, very nourishing and just what I needed in the middle of proof-reading!
    Thank you.

  7. RuthG

    I love to think of you and the other five women flowering, frisking, and feasting in that wonderful setting.

  8. juliet

    Ruth, thank you, it was all of that – and you know some of them too.

  9. Ruth P

    Thank you for your beautiful post Juliet. It is heart-lifting to read of both the bounty of flowering trees and the longevity and ‘communion’ that is possible when people choose to sustain gatherings that are significant to them. The way you write of this means that your collective good fortune is also shared beyond your group … very lovely!

  10. juliet

    Ruth, what a lovely comment. I’m so glad that the ripples can spread outwards from our group and what we shared. Thank you.


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