Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rituals of Arrival

What are your rituals of arrival, when you come to a special place?  Last weekend as I crunched along the gravel path and up the brick steps to the bach, I became aware of mine.
Between carrying in the first and second loads from the car, I found myself pausing to pull a few weeds from the path — not as in 'working', but as in greeting the land, and making a promise to tend it once more when I'd settled in.
Between the second load and the third, I made a detour up the steps to dead-head the cornflowers, as a way of saying, 'hello, I'm so glad that you are still flowering. You are beautiful.' It was but a small diversion from there to visit the tomato plants and pinch out a few laterals.
 After the fifth load I pick a fresh kawakawa leaf while the kettle boils. And after the sixth load it's time to pause for my cup of tea, and to taste the fresh fruit I bought on the way out. Big sigh of relief. I have arrived.
 Unpacking can wait till later.
 For now, creative ideas flock in, fluttering like butterflies around my head. I pull out my writer's notebook, and begin to write this blog to you, dear readers. So you come with me, you see, as my heart opens to receiving the blessings of nature, like these calling cards from the kereru (wood pigeon), that have been dropped at intervals along the pathways.
 I take my tea outside and sip contentedly, listening to the wind shaking secrets through the foliage, and the penetrating ki-ki-ki of a kingfisher spearing up from the nearby stream. I think of Jane Duncan Rogers, who wrote recently about arriving at a beach hut in Scotland, in the cold of winter, and Joan Anderson, who took a year by the sea at Cape Cod, and all those women who face the bravery of retreat.
From Virginia Woolf's room of one's own, to beach huts, cottages, baches, boats, and other hideaways around the world, where women escape to soothe their souls and wait for the wellspring to fill again, it seems I am not alone. I am a bead on a long loose string that encircles the world, and loops around times past, present and future.
In solitude and silence, the magnificence of nature is most deeply felt.


Marja said...

Enjoy your time among mother nature. I like it how you make live feel so sacred and special by filling it with rituals.
How wonderful to have a place to south your soul. I love feathers and found the same one I didn't know it was from a wood pigeon.
Hope you have a nice time Enjoy

Anonymous said...

I so hope that I will be able to comment on your post. Seems that I have tried in the past and have not been successful though I have been following you for quite some time.
Your travels through the seasons and through nature speak to me and I give thanks for your blog. A room of one's own is a gift indeed and I pray you will be nourished at your bach. Thanks for taking us along so that we may be nourished as well.
Farm Gal in VA USA

Juliet said...

* Marja, this place certainly does soothe my soul. The wood pigeons are all around right now, and so I was able to match the feathers to the bird.

* Farm Gal, you made it! Thank you for your persistence. For many people, just clicking 'Google' among the signup options works well, because if you are on Facebook you are already signed up with Google. Otherwise, using Anonymous works just fine, and you can put your name at the end, just as you've done here. I'm also importing my blog posts to my website now. It's on Wordpress and is easier to leave a comment there. You can click there to follow the blog through the website. Go to

Thank you, Marja and Farm Gal, I appreciate your comments.

Hotly Spiced said...

How beautiful. That really is a gorgeous part of the world. I really love the image of the flowers - those cornflowers are stunning xx

Penny O'Neill said...

I do as you have, Juliet and feel as I have just been walking with you

I may have asked you before so forgive me if I have, but, have you ever read "Gifts From the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindberg?

Juliet said...

* Charlie, glad you enjoyed visiting the bach with me. I adore that cornflower blue too.

* Penny, I can imagine you having your own arrival rituals. Yes I have read and still love 'Gifts from the Sea.'

Thank you Charlie and Penny.

Nadezda said...

I love your last photo Juliet!
Calm and peaceful...
It's pretty to see warm days in your place, I wait for warmth very much.

Vicki Lane said...

Such a lovely image - a bead on a long loose string encircling the world . . .

My rituals of arriving are similar -- pull a weed, pick some herbs or flowers -- remind my garden that I'm home.

Juliet said...

* Nadezda, glad you like the photo. It's always peaceful out at the bach. The warmth will soon be turning towards you in the north.

* Vicki, how nice to hear of your similar rituals, reminding your garden that you are home. I like that idea.

Thank you Nadezda and Vicki.

Anonymous said...

Hi Juliet

I have posted on your other blog about this post.

Juliet said...

thanks Gallivanta. That's a good way to go as it's easier to post in Wordpress. I'm now creating my blogs in blogspot as usual, but importing it to my new website blog page. I import the comments every day or two.

Anne Ruffell said...

It has been so soothing to catch up on reading of your blog entries and study the beautiful pictures. In difficult times it is so rewarding to see your photos of familiar special places and to hear about young Mira and watch her growing up with you. I now feel calm and ready for a good night's sleep. Thank you.

Juliet said...

Anne, I'm so glad that my blog has brought you some comfort. We all need encouraging stories!