Voices of spring

by | Sep 22, 2021 | Seasons Newsletter, Uncategorized | 16 comments


Over the years that I’ve been writing these newsletters I’ve never had to think, ‘What shall I write?’


They always arrive easily.

But this time I did find myself wondering, because my mind has been elsewhere during Auckland’s weeks of lockdown. I’ve dropped into the stillness of retreat, happily immersed in a new writing project.

What is it about?

It’s too soon to tell you the details, but what I can say is, that after writing three books on the seasons of nature I am now turning to the seasons of life.


So I wondered, ‘What shall I write for spring equinox, this wild season midway between winter solstice and summer solstice?’ 


Last night in meditation an answer came, like a flash of soft lightening. Nature itself will write the newsletter. The trees and birds have something to say. They want to speak to you. Whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, their messages are for you.


So here are their voices.





[You will see a photo of this tree in the heading of the newsletter.]


The karo, a tree that lives in the zone between sea and land, says that it has evolved to withstand harsh winds and sea storms just as you have evolved to withstand pandemics, natural disasters and other events that shake you to the core.


The karo does this by moving flexibly, allowing itself to be shaken vigorously and yet holding its flowers so they will not fall. Every petal is held and survives to be fertilised, to make its round furry seedpod which will split open and spread widely, and grow into new trees.


The karo say:


‘You too can practice agility. Keep moving, keep adapting. It is the rigid branches that snap in the wind, not the ones that shake fearlessly. Be like us.’



Migrating birds


The cuckoos and kuaka, birds of the long journeys, are on their way back from the north. They are returning to their spring nesting grounds.

They say, ‘Don’t be afraid if your journeys are long and arduous. Keep flying, and hold faith. Your inner radar will show you the way, just as it does for us. You will arrive and find your safe place once more, to settle and nest.’


Photo credit: Lesley Gardner

Tūturiwhatu (dotterel)

These birds with the name that seems to flutter as you say it, will soon be preparing their nests out in the open on beaches and river banks. Once there was no danger but now people have brought animals that kill the vulnerable chicks.

The tūturiwhatu say they have seen many of their young killed by dogs and sometimes it feels hopeless to continue breeding.

However, in many places, humans are now helping by creating protective walls of kelp that also contain food in the form of tiny insects, and by keeping dogs under control. They watch closely as once again the birds lay their eggs and hatch out tiny chicks.

Some are surviving and some populations are showing a small increase. The tūturiwhatu want you to know they are grateful.

They say, ‘Keep observing nature. Observe closely and regularly and you will know how to help.’



These are the grandmother trees. Many times in their lives they have fallen over. Whole branches have collapsed onto the ground. But they have developed a trick of putting down roots from their fallen limbs and then sending up new twigs and leaves from the horizontal branches.

They sprawl, cling to cliffs, fall, lose limbs and then grow some more. They say,  ’Old and gnarled we may be, but we are survivors, just like you who learn to sprout new life from old wounds.’

Blessings to you all at Equinox, whether you are in autumn or spring.

I offer thanks to the voices of nature.

May we all keep listening.



If you’d like to see the video of the karo being shaken in the spring winds, you’ll find it on my Facebook page.

For guidance in celebrating spring equinox, my seasons’ books are there to help you.
Dancing with the Seasons is a personal guide to the seasonal flow.
Celebrating the Southern Seasons is the classic resource book.
Sun, Moon, and Stars will give you inspiration for celebrating with your family or whānau.


  1. Hilary Foged

    I am deeply excited at this direction in your writing. These voices of nature resonate and are profound wisdom. Thank you Juliet.

    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you so much Hilary! I wasn’t sure about this; but the voices were very insistent. I really appreciate your affirmation.

  2. Verity Thom

    Deep gratitude as always for you wonderful newsletters, I look forward to them SO much. Arohanui

    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Verity, that’s so kind of you, and very encouraging.

  3. Peta Joyce

    This is so apt and timely. I found myself wanting to continue the writing. For example, I read recently that the godwits were encountering strong headwinds and having to turn back. Are they saying sometimes we have to change direction and take shelter? The tui are feasting on golden pollen of the kowhai, making most of the abundance that is suddenly there in Spring. They are saying enjoy the new growth and the sweetness it brings. The kereru are soaring and diving, showing off their skills to potential mates and saying celebrate what you have with joy and daring…….. lovely, you have inspired me to continue!

    • Juliet Batten

      Peta, what lovely eloquent words from you. I love the way you have continued the stories. Now you have inspired ME! thank you so much.

  4. Jenny

    Thank you Juliet for your peaceful and uplifting words and observations, once again.
    I too have often thought along these lines, though not as eloquently as you’ve written!! I also regularly talk to the trees in my garden – they know all sorts of stuff they’d never share, and they never judge!!!

    • Juliet Batten

      Jenny, how lovely to hear of your conversations with the trees. I love it that ‘they never judge.’ Thank you.

  5. Julia

    Thank you Juliet for these lovely spring equinox reflections that speak to the heart and soul. I have little goldfinches feasting on the puha seeds in my garden. They say enjoy the bounty while it is there and are grateful I leave the plants to go to seed and to feed them.
    I love to see birds in the garden. Blessings to you!

    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Julia; it is so interesting to know that the goldfinches like puha seeds, and I like their message about enjoying the bounty while it’s there. I must remember that and leave them to seed.

  6. Anita

    I found your words deeply inspiring Juliet and am most grateful for the encouragement to “ read “ more about what nature has to tell us about our own journey’s. It is such perfect timing to tune into this right now. Looking forward to hearing more about your forthcoming book. Gratitude

    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Anita; I’m so glad that this newsletter spoke to your heart, and that the timing was right.

  7. Amanda Smith

    Blessings to you, Juliet, as we prepare for the coming of Spring Equinox. I love how you have shared wisdom from the plants for us. I am inspired to spend time in the forest over the next few days to listen to and notice more guidance from our Earth.

    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Amanda; have a wonderful time in the forest, listening in.

  8. janice Kendall

    I now create my altars and mark the seasons with guidance from Celebrating the Southern Seasons. It has helped me reconnect to Aotearoa. Gratitude and Blessings. Janice

    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Janice, I’m so happy to hear this!


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