Rhythms of creativity

by | Jan 15, 2018 | Seasons Newsletter, Uncategorized | 10 comments



My creative spirit is breathing more freely, reaching more deeply, stimulated and revived by two things: immersion in nature, and connection with children.

The summer outflow, or the winter drawing-in — both take us beyond our usual edges and into new awareness.


In the northern hemisphere you will be in the deep inner plunge into winter stillness, and so I have a link for you to a special message about winter.


Here it is the opposite. I’ve returned from a summer holiday at the bach with my family, including two young children, no TV, no screens, and no toys — just the playground of nature where every bird song is an event: the call of the pipiwharauroa (shining cuckoo) each morning, the whoosh of kereru (wood pigeon) wings just before nightfall, and the ring of the tui’s tones throughout the day.


In this world of nature, drama took the form of a shivering young thrush with a broken tail, that we found huddling under a bench in the rain. Celebration took the form of our release of the bird several hours later, after it had made a remarkable recovery in a darkened box with a hot water bottle for comfort and ripe karaka berries for food.


I was reminded how full of life and magic the world of nature is, and how much we are part of it.

On the first rainy day, I brought out three pieces of stiff cardboard, a collection of rain-kissed green leaves, a bag of stones, some handfuls of egg shells, a cluster of renga renga berries, we made nature pictures.


My three year old granddaughter Mika took the egg shells and crushed them into some little containers. Then she arranged the stones on her card.


Mira, the nine-year-old, made a fairy out of yellow and green leaves, with berry stalks for legs and arms.


I made a mandala.


We all loved what we did.


The next day the rain streamed down again and I brought in flax leaves. Mira wove little mats and Mika absorbed herself in splitting the flax into long narrow pieces and then cutting them into squares.


Children are naturally creative. Can you remember your curiosity as a child, and how you explored your world and experienced wonder?


What is happening for you right now?

If you are in the sensory deprivation cave of winter, you may be taking a deep dive within, and accessing inner guidance.


If you are in the drift of summer, you may be experiencing that awakening of the senses that can occur in this season.


Playing with children

Were any of you enjoying nature play or creating a summer solstice ritual with children?


A reader who ordered my book ‘Celebrating the Southern Seasons’, told me that she and a friend will be creating eight seasonal rituals this year with their children, using my book for guidance.


Here’s what they did at summer solstice at Cornwallis beach on Auckland’s Manukau harbour. They scratched through the dry grass to find the black sand beneath and made a spiral.


Isn’t it magical?


I was delighted to receive this from Jo, because it resonated surprisingly with my new writing project for 2018.


I’m so excited to tell you about this, and also about a new way that I can support you with the flowering of your own creativity.


If you are signed up to my Seasons Newsletter,* you will be able to find out more about both of these and to view the video of my first book reading from my bach. As you can see, I’ve returned regenerated and inspired!


Meanwhile, blessings on your creative spirits, whether you are in the depths of winter or the height of summer,



*To receive the Seasons Newsletter, you may sign up on the home page of this website, or on the pop up form on this page, and receive a free audio meditation.


  1. Denise Poyner

    I am glad to see your first blog. And a lovely one it is at that.

    Curiousity was mostly suppressed when I was a child. It is difficult to allow curiousity in a fractious relationship dynamic where keeping aware and safe was more important than engaging in nature or exploring freely.

    As an adult, I have made effort to returning to that childs sense of curiousity. I often look around the corner to see what else there might be out of whatever is going on.

    This summer holidays. . . a work colleagues children had been baking star shaped shortbread. I was the grateful recipient of their creative attempt made from a small jar with a gold screw-top lid, several creamy star shaped biscuits, a silver band placed around the middle of the jar, and a decoration on top of the lid. The biscuits were delicious and how delightful to have been remembered at Christmas by them.

    My senses are wide awake – even as I write this email. I am taking in a lot of sounds – cicada in the evening, bird song in the morning, and during the day the rattle and hum of our workplace as colleagues get into their second week back at work.

    2018 will be a great year. I wish the same for all. Blessings.

    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Denise. I found everything you wrote interesting but had to edit it as the comments box doesn’t allow a lot of words. The biscuits sound delightful & your senses & curiosity are alive and well, from all accounts.

  2. Rosanne

    Kia ora Juliet
    Yesterday I took my 2 month old grandaughter into the bush reserve for the first time. It was amazing to see her so chilled out on such a hot day. She laid there for close to an hour watching the sun poking through the trees who were shimmering in the light and listening to the many birds and insects chatting away. We are so blessed to be able to do this.

    • Juliet Batten

      How beautiful Rosanne, that sense of wonder! Thank you.

  3. Hilary

    Hi Juliet – lovely to have that space away from the urban jungle. There’s some noise here – yet I know around I’ll find some quiet and peace – with wonderful settings now I’m in Canada for a while … cheers Hilary

    • Juliet Batten

      Thanks Hilary, and I hope you find some peace. Canada must have those places no doubt.

  4. Penny

    We are deep into winter up here, Juliet, with a blanket of fresh snow and temperatures dipping to below 0 (F) at time and barely rising to 20 (F). Still, I find beauty in the snow, the long shadows of barren trees and footprint signatures of deer and squirrel and birds on the snow. I’m finding I need more sleep right now as I repair and work through grief. The shorter days and later sunrise are a balm for me.

    What wondrous fun with your granddaughters. I can’t believe Mika is already three and Mira, at nine will rise to a double digit age soon. 🙂 How wonderful. I always enjoy and learn something new when I read your posts of your times at the bach. Thank you, Juliet.

    • Juliet Batten

      Penny, thank you so much for joining in the fun with my little ones, even as the snow falls and you are wrapped around by winter as you fall into grief. I hope you can rest deeply, and restore.

  5. Hilary

    Wonderful creative reflection of your time on summer holidays Juliet! Also the idea of providing creative ideas for people working with children! Then the video of you reading from your book!! What an inspiring newsletter! Loving thanks

    • Juliet Batten

      Hilary, thank you so much. The holiday recharged me, & I’m looking forward to an exciting year.


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