Summer’s end

by | Mar 5, 2024 | Seasons Newsletter | 2 comments

We are reaching summer’s end, and it’s time to contemplate how to hold the goodness of the season.


At a Summer Retreat I led on Waiheke some years ago, we imagined our own personal containers for summer’s gifts, then made these containers on the beach.

Some people dug deep, as if into the underworld; others made platforms, shelters or mounds. Even for those whose summer had been challenging, there were still gifts to harvest.



The inner harvest


When we attend to our inner harvest, and gather our resources consciously, we are more likely to be able to find what we need when times are hard.

Sometimes we need to gather the harvest of a kind season, such as the experience of fitness and good health, the sustenance of time with family or good friends, or the replenishment that comes from time out and surrendering to a different rhythm.


The inner harvest


When we attend to our inner harvest, and gather our resources consciously, we are more likely to be able to find what we need when times are hard. We may also discover a fullness that can be shared with others.

On Waiheke that year, most of us experienced peace and abundance. By gathering our gifts, we had surplus to offer. This is often one of the gifts of summer’s end.

The retreat took place after the earthquakes in Christchurch. From our own overflow, we made images of healing for the people of Christchurch and Canterbury, and offered them up with prayers.

If that retreat was held in 2023, we would have been directing our healing and prayers by all those who were affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.


Nature as destroyer


Nature is not always benevolent. Nature can be a fierce destroyer as well as a nurturing creator. In the ancient goddess traditions, the Great Goddess was seen as creator, sustainer and destroyer. Each aspect was seen as a necessary part of the cycle of life.

We saw great destruction take place in the Christchurch earthquakes. From that broken ground a new order needed to be created.

But the first task was one of containment: holding on to what remained, holding steady in the face of after-shocks, and building strong connection with others; letting in the power of love.

After the earthquakes I went to the beach and made an image of balance, yin and yang, as part of a prayer for restoration. That’s the image you see above.


What are you harvesting from summer’s goodness?

What inner resources do you draw on at times of need?

Where are you experiencing fullness right now, at summer’s end?

Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.



A Cup of Sunlight: discovering the sacred in everyday life

Growing into Wisdom


  1. Jen McArthur

    Thank you so much dear Juliet for this breath in time, this moment to take stock. As this year starts to speed up a hundred fold, Im feeling very grateful for taking time off over the summer to garden and swim in the sea and just watch tv and hang out with people. I am harvesting inner empty space. Just hope it doesn’t go too quick 🙂

    • Juliet Batten

      How beautiful, to be harvesting inner empty space. Maybe you can hold on to that, even if it’s in pockets. Thank you Jen, so nice to hear from you and your spacious summer.


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