I’ve just had a weekend at the wild west coast, where the weather changed from howling wind to soft rain and then intense heat. The kanuka trees were shaking their heads in the wind, as the wind wound around the high-up bach where eight women gathered to celebrate 25 years of seasonal rituals together.

It seemed that all the blossom would shake away, but it held. And down in the valley below, a pohutukawa was flowering in the warm shelter of the river flat.