Monday, June 21, 2010

Winter love

Kawakawa leaves freshen up in winter, relieved of carrying those pesky insects that perforate them all over. Kawakawa, although associated with death for Maori, always reminds me of love because of the heart-shaped leaves and healing properties.
As I went up and down the supermarket aisles yesterday, I was followed by the sound of a tiny baby crying. There she was, in a pod perched on top of her mother's trolley, no longer reassured by her mother's voice. By the time I reached the bread shelves, the little cry had become louder and more shrill. I could hear it right down the aisle.
My shopping was done, and I was able to make for the checkout. But I paused. The sound had become slightly irritating and I was tempted to move quickly out of range. But in winter I slow down, and pay attention to things. I walked down the long aisle to where the mother and her red-faced,wailing little one were waiting at the meat counter.
'Is there any way I can help?' I asked. 'I'm used to crying babies. I have a little granddaughter.'
'She's hungry,' said the mother, 'and I'm trying to finish the shopping as quickly as I can'. 'Well, that's one thing I can't help with. But would you like me to hold her?' And this lovely trusting mother took her precious little six-week old out of the pod and handed her to me. All the baby needed was reassurance, and her cries ceased immediately. I held and rocked her while the mother attended to purchases over the counter. Then the mother took her baby, and held her close while she carried on.
What a gift, to be allowed to help. I received as much as I gave, and went away feeling tender, moved by the flow of trust and love. Maybe winter love has its own quality: soft, gentle, taking its time.

4 comments:

Marilyn said...

I was interested to read your comments about the kawakawa plants that are free of the leaf eating peats in winter. I know very little about our native plants and am in the process of learning - I am in the process of learning about so much in life.
Loved your story of soothing the baby which helped the mother so much. You all gained from this - the baby, it's mother and yourself.

Joan said...

Lovely to find your blog Juliet. I have long loved your books... visual diaries, seasonal rituals.. thank you for all that you've given me over the years.. although I've never met you.

Joan said...

Now I have just read your post about the mother and baby. It is lovely. How rewarded we are when we take the time. Just a smile can make me feel that way sometimes.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful Juliet..

Someone wrote: "There is nothing as precious as the human bond."

Thank you for your nourishing winter sharing..