My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills," William Wordsworth

A Balmy Summer Evening

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Tonight is as good as it gets on a New Zealand summer evening. Balmy, little cloud cover and the new quarter moon has appeared in the indigo sky. Windless, no traffic, no streetlights in our rural neighbourhood, it is ideal for an after-dinner stroll. The ridges of the western hills are silhouetted against the setting sun, casting deep shadows across the paddocks.

Later once darkness has cloaked the land, we will hear a possum grunt, the raucous squawks of the pukeko, Ruru’s moooorpoooork calls from the trees and the faint replies echoing from the hills as the Moreporks, New Zealand’s owl, go about their nightly hunt for food. Once, while strolling along the streambank, I saw a morepork chick perched on a low branch of a Totara tree. Silent and still, its round unblinking eyes solemnly stared. I’m not sure who watched who that evening.

At different times, we have sat with friends and family in the garden, wine and binoculars at hand and contemplated the mystery and the beauty of the universe, admiring the great Milky splash, the Southern Cross stars that are displayed on the NZ flag. Mars is familiar as are the Pot and the Scorpion. We needed to use the NZ astronomy website to identify other stars such as the seven sisters, Pleiades, or Matariki as Maori call this cluster of stars. In June-July, the re-appearance of Matariki in our southern skies is celebrated because it reminds us of beginnings, the promise of the new growing season. Maori have ancient knowledge of stars and they have many stories to tell. “Swimming across the darkness is Te Ikaroa (the Milky Way), the great fish of Rangi, the Sky Father.”   

In January 2007, as we watched McNaughton’s Comet streak across the western night sky, Sis-in-law mused how stargazing natural universal events links us with all skywatchers beyond our time and in far places.

Who will wonder the universal mysteries and admire this comet when it returns in a million years?

 

Author: Jenny

A few years ago when I began blogging, I was in awe of the creative, the witty, the informative, the insightful posts by writers on WordPress. I was challenged by my son to write, to set up a blog, to expand my garden diary scribblings. Never did I think from scratching and grubbing in my garden dirt would sprout words of reflection, thoughts about life lived as I know it. My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I do put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. Always, there's something to write or chat about life lived as I know it. I have a certain sense of amazement that my blogging community is expanding. In a previous life, I once was a teacher. A four-walled classroom is an artificial construct. When thirty or so teenagers with diverse learning needs filled the space, the more I listened, the more I observed my students, the more I learned. They had stories to tell, to write of things that interested them. Luckily for me we embarked on amazing journeys of discovery and learned together. Some say a lifestyle block is a no-lifestyle block. We like being able to grow seasonal food, to enjoy fresh air and open space. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older stage of our life together, but family commitments continue. And so it another phase of discovery happens as I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and a menagerie of living creatures who rule the roost.

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