Tuesday, March 29, 2011
As I took an afternoon walk, I found the berms covered with bits and pieces from people's homes. It's inorganic rubbish collection time, held at the perfect time of year, when nature is also getting rid of debris, ready for winter. What caught my eye was one chair after another, plus a sofa, too covered in debris to photograph.
And now they've served their time. I wonder what new seats have taken their place, and with what pleasure they are being tried out, and what new conversations will take place from within their arms.
I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.
Henry David Thoreau
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Earth hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million people and over 2000 businesses turned off their lights for one hour to take a stand against climate change and unsustainable energy use.
Last year, on Saturday 27 March, over 128 countries and territories joined in.
We are learning more and more ways of linking up as one earth. This simple action, flowing in a wave around the planet as each country reaches 8.30 pm, gives me hope. I also like to think of the stars shining more brightly tonight as artificial lights are turned off and the night sky is reclaimed.
My action to go 'beyond the hour' is to find an apartment-friendly way of turning my food waste to compost.
Friday, March 25, 2011
On the way back from my walk a couple of days ago, I noticed a splash of colour amidst the clover. Can you see it, in the centre of this photo?
Here it is, the last of the monarchs (or so I imagined; a variation on the last swallow of summer). Then I saw a fat bumble bee, feasting on the flowers, but I wasn't quick enough to catch it.
This week I heard that the godwits had departed.
Autumn: it's a poignant time; a season of endings, with flashes of richness.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Two years ago I admired her turquoise jacket and now, after much hunting, she's found one for me in Marks and Spencer's. She wrapped it in beautiful paper and sent it off with a note to say 'a surprise is always nice to have.' How fortunate I feel, to have such a good friend, and to be soaking up the late autumn sun in a beautiful place.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The sun came out again, and another mellow day unfolded. I took my writing to the beach, and sat there while the seagulls stood in the weed-covered sand, and clouds and yachts sailed by in sky and sea.
The sand was dotted with small mounds, created by tiny creatures. I thought about small worlds, and made my own small world, a sanctuary to contain my gratitude for another beautiful day.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Before the clouds drew over the sky I photographed the full 'supermoon', which is the closest it has come to the earth since 1993. Nature is showing her abundant, benevolent face once more.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I bought this sunflower, which contains both summer radiance and autumn seeds, and took it to the Japanese restaurant where I often have lunch. They are always courteous and kind. Today it was my turn to offer something back to them, acknowledging the suffering of the Japanese people at this time.
These words come from Seneca, from a quote that our Governor General read out at the Christchurch memorial service yesterday:
In the presence of death, we must continue to sing the song of life.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Rebuilding will happen.
It always does.
What is built from the ruins will benefit from hard lessons learned.
It will be stronger than before.
|This one was made 7 days after the earthquake|
Live in the present
Do all the things that need to be done.
Do all the good you can each day.
The future will unfold.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
|Cabbage tree turning flowers to berries|
|karo seed capsules, bursting open to reveal sticky black seeds|
I too am gathering up goodness, ready for the shift into a darker, cooler time.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Autumn is here, bringing a welcome sense of stability and benevolence.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Going deeply into this theme and experiencing the discomfort of uncertainty together, brought unexpected comfort. Such a paradox.
As I contemplate nature, and the energy that is being put into making seeds in this season, I come into the presence of a great power. The kawakawaka, those green hearts that I love so much, from this plant used by the Maori for much healing, are full of greening, drinking up autumn's rain. The power of regeneration is ever present.
The power of love was also abundant last night as we lit candles for Japan. The Japanese rescue team was the first to be sent to New Zealand following the Christchurch earthquake, and this morning I heard that we have now sent a team back to them. This is love-in-action.
'Love is actually a state of being, and a divine state at that, the state to which we all yearn to return.' (Ram Dass).
My flax and kawakawa heart for Japan keeps me in the presence of love. I feel a great wave flowing towards Japan right now, carrying prayers for comfort, safety, healing and regeneration.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Flax plants stand up proudly along the coast. Their pods are cracking open, and raining black seeds on to the ground beneath.
I gather them, and make a basket shape from the leaves, wanting to contain and hold what is flying away.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
There's something about a new moon that always moves me: seeing that clear slice of silver in the sky, and feeling a new cycle begin.
When the new moon is combined with a sunset like this, it takes my breath away.
And the following night, here it is again, though without the moon because the clouds were gathering.
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone
with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles. - Anne Frank
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I hadn't planned the day that way; it just happened. I had thought to continue working on my new projects, but somehow the mess had been interfering with the new work. I also cleaned the bathroom and kitchen, filled the recycling bin, then vacuum-cleaned everywhere.
In the 70s, we used to retrieve the frond base that had been shed, varnish it and use it as a fruit bowl. Not now. I'm shedding, not accumulating.
As I looked at the beautiful bulbous shape emerging from the trunk, now smooth and unencumbered from the heavy old frond, I could see how the tree was now free to put its energy into ripening those droops of berries into the rich red of late autumn.
I too am now free of old fronds, and ready to ripen my new projects into mature fruit.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Here it stands, a golden feast in a jar. It's such a time-honoured tradition, to gift food as a way of saying thank you, or as solace for hard times. Within summer stored in my kitchen, I'm ready for the lengthening shadows, cool nights, and yellowing of the leaves. Thank you, Christine.
Friday, March 4, 2011
I made shrines for the broken hearts of Canterbury today. The beach was empty, the tide receded; rain threatening. The sand was gritty with shell fragments. Pieces of glass had been sea-shaped into curious little objects. I placed green leaves for healing, as foundations for the work to come.
It won't be the same as it was.
Clinging to the old way will only increase suffering.
It is necessary to surrender, and find a new haven for the broken heart.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
Then, preparation for physical rebuilding can take place, beginning with cleaning and clearing.
New plans must be made.
The learnings must be incorporated in the new structure.
Eventually it will be stronger than before, and the heart can take up residence.
Catherine of Sienna said: Make two homes for yourself, my daughter: one actual home . . . and the other a spiritual home which you are to carry with you always.