This weekend I was invited to Piha, on Auckland’s west coast. A group of women asked me to lead them in a workshop on midlife, based on my book Growing into Wisdom. 
The organiser graciously hosted us in her own home, which perches high on a hillside. It’s a steep climb up her driveway but well worth it. This is the view from her deck. 
The first thing I like to do in a new place is to take a walk, and get the feel of the land. So I arrived early, and found a track that led to the sea.

 The pohutukawas are just coming into flower out on the coast.

 On the way I came across Madam Pukeko, sunning herself in a grassy clearing.

 She drew herself up, offended at my intrustion

 and took off to where she could walk about undisturbed.

 The workshop began with a simple setting in the centre of our circle. Soon it was filled with rich symbols and drawings.

And of course, in the breaks, there was the delicious food that women always manage to produce on these occasions.

My wish was to feel the flow between all of us who were there, and the spectacular environment of Piha. The wish came true, and more. I felt bathed in a spirit of generosity, from the host and all of those present; generosity that was matched by the pohutukawas that sprawled over the hills, the rolling ocean, abundant bird song and the lovingly prepared food.