Ancestors, Samhain and Matariki

Ancestors, Samhain and Matariki

  Every Sunday my Aunt Jessie would visit the graveyard. The graveyard lay on the other side of town, a little further out than our house, so it became a natural thing for me to join her at our gate and run alongside.   This is how I came to explore the...
Samhain Remembrance

Samhain Remembrance

    Outside the dark, noisy café, a woman sat on the pavement. ‘You’ve caught the sun,’ I said, as I stopped to talk.   ‘Yes’, ‘it’s sweet autumn’, she replied. I agreed. ‘These fine days feel as if they could last forever.’ ‘But they...
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 a critical phase in the birthing...

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...

Make way for Persephone!

  I was surprised. She didn’t want to be Persephone in the school play. I thought all the girls would have lusted after the part of the maiden, dancing with her friends amidst the spring flowers, her head crowned with a ring of blossoms. But not 11 year old...