Summer is officially here on Wednesday
and the sun knows it!
28 degrees and a hot sun in a blue sky.
Friend Kath and I decided it was just the afternoon to visit
the beautiful Hamilton Gardens.
The air is filled with herbal fragrance.
In the Italian garden the citrus trees have already flowered
and look, the tiny fruit have made their appearance.
My favourite garden is the Char Bag Indian garden..
The riot of colour hits me in the eye.
I think I want to stay home this summer
and just chill out.
Early this morning when I woke
I heard a whoosh whoosh
and I knew balloons were passing over my house,
floating on a gentle south west breeze
like inverted water drops.
The waning moon was still in the sky,
a watchful goddess,
and I sat on my little deck upstairs
listening to the birdsong in the clear early morning air
and feeling the peacefulness of hot air balloons.
Cheeky starling who is nesting somewhere in my roof
was more watchful of me than any hot air balloons..
The rising sunlight caught the colours in his glossy black feathers.
Hot air balloons are always leaving.
There is no return flight to the lake,
but always moving forward with the breeze until the journey's end.
The end is unknown from the outset.
The journey may be long or brief.
The support teams follow in vehicles below,
ready to assist when the journey is over.
we have need of a gentle sky tonight
a soft sky
and a soft rain
take the greys and whites and soft gold
and paint a gentle sky
the tears of Rangi
and the tupuna
and flowers will grow again
we have need of a rainbow in the sky tonight
a soft rainbow
take pastel colours
and paint a gentle bow
a soft rainbow
in a soft cloud sky
is all we ask
and one white dove
an olive branch
At the time of my 18 year old son Ross' death.. I became aware of rainbows and clouds, sunsets and sunrises, butterflies and birds as never before.
Whenever they appeared I accepted them as signs, as reassurances of love, never asking questions.
It was some ancient understanding having no need of words.
Several mornings as I left the house early to go walking
I found a white feather on the doormat.
One morning my friend Barbara was staying with me.. we opened the door and
look, I said, there is today's white feather.
I told her how there had been a white feather
each morning lately.
It was the last one.
I never asked where it came from.
We had no white birds.
I never called it a miracle. I never questioned it.
I just accepted it.
There are times in our lives when creation holds us very close
Papa tuanuku and Rangi
May the Universe hold the people of Pike River close tonight...
( The photos are of our Aotearoa-New Zealand sky this almost summer evening. )
The news we have dreaded.. another explosion in the River Pike Mine
all we can do is send our love, our aroha,
to the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters, wives and lovers
of the lost miners
to the people of the West Coast
the workmates, the manager and the rescue teams..
our hearts break for you
29 miners lost
"That's the music of sempiternity.
It is the cantata of creation,
the symphony of all the souls trapped in the earth......
...Shurik, put your ear to the rock .... you can hear it now can't you..."
'The industry of Souls' ... just happens to be our bookclub book this month.
I've discovered something lovely at the rose garden by the lake.
I can walk it like a labyrinth.
It is planted out in wide circles.
Every bed has a name post for the rose growing in it,
some facing clockwise and some counter-clockwise.
Walking a labyrinth is an ancient prayer form, a meditation.
In the early morning I have the rose garden all to myself.
I walk counter-clockwise to walk the direction of the sun.. source of all life.
As I walk I try to listen and keep my noisy ego voice quiet.
I hear the birds
and the hum of a waking city.
The names of the roses bring people to my mind..
Chicago Peace .. I think of Penny
General MacArthur.. brought Kitty Howard to mind !
News... I think of the miners down south
Rose of Tralee.. I think of my mother, my grandmother and all the strong women
who are my ancestors..
and so many more I cannot recall just now.
A blessing and gratitude I send off for the one in my thoughts.
it has become a beautiful way to walk.
and the roses in the middle
where I finish my labyrinth walk under the round arbour, are
Peace for the Earth
I can wend my way back to where I began.. if the urge takes me
and notice the rose names that show walking clockwise.
If Beltane / October was the season of greening and sap rise..
November now is the season of flowering and sending forth intoxicating scent.
The cabbage tree flowers along with jasmine, roses and other flowering trees and shrubs
are almost overpowering right now.. but wonderful and delightful.
"As we get older, the world becomes more beautiful.
We might not discover the answers to the great questions of life,
but the questions themselves have disappeared and there is an acceptance of life
that verges on contentment...
We know there is inherent goodness in everything
and we enjoy the present moment more..."
I had such a special morning today.
I was invited to my favourite school
for the blessing of a memory garden.
Ann, loved Deputy Principal and dear friend died of cancer earlier this year
and the school has built a special garden of remembrance.
I felt very honoured to be part of the powhiri and blessing.
There is always a special warmth and aroha about this school.
Just look at WhaiaMihi, a loved semi-retired teacher, with the children.
It is six years since I left this school and retired from teaching.
The children I knew have moved on, but the spirit of the school is the same.
When I arrived Mihi grabbed my arm and said
"we're not manuhiri (visitors), we don't have to be welcomed on"
and we snuck in the back and sat with the children and staff.
The garden includes giant chess
and a zen sandpit..
a quiet garden with beautiful trees that have grown so big since I began teaching
at the school on Foundation Day 1988.
In a quiet corner there is a special sculpture to honour Ann.
The koru patterns represent nurturing and aroha and learning,
and the school motto
"Give them wings that they may fly"
It was such a happy morning.
Kevin and Ann created a very special school and my years there were very special.
The men in the mine were remembered during the blessing too.
We all feel such sadness for the families waiting.
Our country is small with a population of 4 million .
At times like this we feel very connected.
' The same stream of life
that runs through the world
runs through my veins night and day
and dances in rhythmic measure.
It is the same life that shoots joy
through the dust of the Earth..
into the numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of flowers..'
The older I grow the more I am in awe of life on this planet.
Just look at my beans growing, up up the bean poles,
all travelling in the same direction.
Is this to do with the coriolis effect?
You know..how the water goes counter clock-wise down our southern hemisphere plugholes!
It all astonishes me.
I read it could be the growing tip of the plant following the path of the sun.
Now how amazing is that.
PS. What I'm wondering .. do vines travel in a clockwise movement in the northern hemishere?