Saturday, April 30, 2011
Tonight people will bring their candles and pumpkin lanterns to light on Ponsonby Rd, where I will be keeping vigil with my helpers. Who knows how many people will turn up, and what will happen? This is the third year I've done this, and last year children turned up who never wanted to leave, they were so fascinated by it all.
This year we will have a special area for those who died in the Christchurch earthquake. One woman is going to bring her violin to play, and I will play on my English concertina. The concertina is made our of rosewood, with silver-tipped buttons. It is 140 years old, and belonged to the McKeever grandmother who died before I was born. Her ancestry was Irish and English, and when I play this old instrument I can feel my ancestry flowing into me.
Monday, April 25, 2011
When I could check my bird books and the web, I learned that these dainty birds were black-fronted terns, known to Maori as tarapiroe. They are also known as 'sea swallows', because of their forked tails. Tarapiroe breed in the shingle rivers of the south island, but move north in late summer and autumn, gathering to feed around river mouths.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
The mellow days of autumn are definitely over, but on a gentler note, I found the carrots I planted last time, were daintily dancing in their rows.
The day was warm, and I worked happily in the garden, digging in seaweed and planting broad beans.
Nature, on the one hand is savage: a hand that takes. We are approaching Kiwi Halloween, and I'm very aware of the lives that have been snatched or beckoned away this year.
But I'm also reminded of the hand that gives, for here in Auckland it's still warm enough to plant seeds and sneak in some more crops. I find that comforting as the season turns.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Mostly, I love our native trees. But in autumn it's the exotics that I enjoy, as their leaves change colour. Today on the north shore I found many glorious trees to help indulge my need to hold on to autumn.
So golden, such glory.
'Your tea goes live in 3 minutes.
In 1 minute your tea will have colour.
In two minutes your tea will have flavour.
In 3 minutes your tea will have the health benefits of antioxidants.'Health benefits indeed, in this range of 'NZ Live Tea', for it combines traditional teas with Maori herbal remedies.
So as I drank my cup of 'Otago Gold' (green tea and kawakawa with ginger and lemon grass'), I felt warmed and mellowed. Even though the leaves on the trees are losing colour and flavour, a little more each day, at least some of it is being transferred to the inside of me, there to enjoy and hold.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The labyrinth in St Matthew is a simplified version of the one at Chartres. This inspiring cathedral was the last place I visited after living in Paris for two years. I have photos of my baby son sitting in the cobblestone street outside the church, but none of the interior (probably not permitted).
The tradition is to carry a question into the labyrinth, and simply to hold that question without expectations while one walks.
My question was 'what am I resisting?'
What is your question as the season turns? May you find the quietness to hold it in sacred space. May the answer arise from the stillness inside you.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
And the tanekaha, ever so slow
It's there I go to fuel my fire
With cones to make the flames leap higher
And there I find the toadstalls gold,
Red ones tiny, or spotted bold
Every autumn I walk the trails
Preparing for approaching gails
And if perchance I should expire
Just add me to the winter fire.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Creatures are burrowing underground, finding nooks and crannies to huddle away in. Ants have been pouring into my kitchen and into every little-used cupboard, seeking out winter shelter.
It's called an Undergrounding Project.
There they are, snug in their orange pipes.
I wonder if powerlines hibernate too, and if in the spring they will come bursting through the earth again, and sprouting power poles on which to climb.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
It was so rich, being in the good company of others from many spiritual traditions.
The many seeds of autumn are still with me: shiny flax seeds, kauri cone segments, golden kowhai seeds, and from the northern hemisphere, acorns and a head of wheat.
I know I'm seeding too, and it's a mystery to be unfolded.
Autumn is drawing me within, to the quiet space of gestation.
Nature always wears the colours of the spirit. (Emerson)
Saturday, April 9, 2011
In the golden weather of autumn, which keeps extending itself, day by day, I sit on the beach. With Mira, it's very simple. Just be there. Enjoy. Play in the sand.
When you are two and a half, imagination always finds a way. With Mira, life is simple.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I heard the sea's distant roar.
I caught the rhythm of the wind, heaving great sighs and then growing still.
I saw a pumpkin vine that had clambered up a tree, but lost its fruit.
I felt a sigh of release pass through me, after the pressure of busy days.
I found my gumboots still in the garden, starting to fill with water.
I tasted kawakawa tea, peppery and perky.
I offered gratitude for this pocket of peace.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
It always feels hopeful to begin a new cycle, even if it gets sneaked in between seasons.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
It's a modest garden, and I'm not here to tend to it every day, but somehow it's produced enough to keep me satisfied.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
It was a perfect day at the beach today, the last of daylight saving. The beach gave me one gift after another. First, these tiny fish, flicking rapidly through the shallow stream that feeds into the beach lagoon.