Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nature's playground (2)

 Did you ever make daisy chains when you were a child? I can remember sitting on the grass, threading daisies together, while my aunt Jessie worked in her garden.
On our way back from the beach, the little fairy discovered a lawn full of daisy heads, popping up everywhere. We had to choose carefully, to find the long stemmed ones.
 I can do it! Well, making the slit in the stem isn't so easy for little fingers with short nails. But she insisted she could thread the daisy through the slit,
 and she could! Such fine work. A seamstress in the making perhaps, or a watch-maker, or a jeweller. 'You be the cutter and I'll be the put-ter,' she instructs me. And so we work together, a perfect team.
 Then it's time to try out the listening shell. My grandparents always had one of these. When you hold it to your ear, you can hear the sea.
'Oh yes, I can hear it,' she says, and then because she's a modern child, 'it's a telephone with decorations!'
After so much excitement, it's time to play alone while granny cooks in the kitchen.
I peep out through the ranch-sliders and discover that she is with her imaginary friend. All is well. Nature provides.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nature's playground

Life has been rather serious. Doing lots of things that require focus. Proof-reading, editing, planning,  teaching preparation, organising. It's time to play.
The karo flowers, with their deep red curling petals, are dropping everywhere. What would they look like on the green moss down by the beach. Ouch. It's quite a contrast.
 It helps to have a small companion when entering Nature's playground. Off she goes to gather things along the sea's edge. Today spotted leaves are a favourite.
 Look, we can make marks by cutting into the sand with a shell.
 We can trace out marks in the sand with a hand.
 'I'll be the collector and you can be the put-ter,' she says. And so together we make magic on the sand.
Here it is. We did it together.
Nature's playground gives us everything we need.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Magnolia Moment

 I was struggling up a hill, on my walk to the library. My head was full of lists, tasks done and undone, and my bones were sore.
 I smelt the blossom before I saw it. Such is the way of things when Spring bounces out from behind gloomy grey clouds and presents her latest delights.
 I raised my head and drank in the fragrance. All the debris in my brain dissolved like honey in warm milk. My aches dropped into dust on the pavement. And there I stood
 in wonder, at how nature lifts us up and out of the mire, and into a realm of beauty. At those fragrant cups of promise, opening to the blue of the sky.
My bones hummed and my feet filled with feathers as I tripped along up the hill, continuing with my day, a smile on my face and gladness in my eyes, for I had just had
a magnolia moment.

Friday, September 7, 2012

How to arrive at a bach

 First, make sure it's still there. Yes, there it is, peeping through the trees. Say hello.
Then check the vegetable garden; see what's grown (beside weeds). Note, from the corner of your eye, all the maintenance tasks that are jumping up and down to get your attention.
 Ignore them, and pick flowers.
There, that's better. Step inside and note, from the corner of your eye, all the dusting, cleaning and clearing that is crying out to be done.
 Ignore it all, and make a cup of tea from the kawakawa leaves you picked from outside. Maori tradition says that the insect-eaten leaves are superior. You are not sure, so pick one of each.
 Prepare a refreshing snack, and bring it out to the deck with your tea. On the way, you hear dozens of jobs squealing out to be done.
 Ignore them. Listen to the bird song.

Watch clouds.
You have arrived.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wheee! It's gone!

 The tulips are dancing. Today I sent off my manuscript to the editor. It's a big moment, a time to pause, a time of truce, having to accept that it's the best that I can do for now.
 Only 3 days ago the tulips were just coming into bud. Mysterious. What will this flower be; what colour and shape? It's a bit like that with a new book. I start in the dark, with some glimmerings, and then watch it unfold over time.
And now it's beginning to bloom. It will open its petals further once the editing process has stripped away what is not needed, and helped to reveal its essence—which I'm hoping will be vibrant, like these tulips.