My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

A Study in Grandparenting



My mother said of her eleven grandchildren, “they’re an interesting lot”. My mother-in-law loved her five grandchildren unconditionally. Both women were very present in the lives of these children, each quite different in character, each with their hopes and dreams as they grew towards adulthood. They know their grandmothers’ family stories. Both women were comfortable in their grandmotherly contributions toward the children’s upbringing. The kids respected their grandparents. As the joke goes, at Grandma’s, the answer is always, “yes!”

I study my eight grandchildren and I echo the sentiments. People who go before are our mentors. Their  lived experiences and words show us the way. The older generation has a vital part to play in shaping the lives of the younger generation. We share our heritage and values that have held true over time. We each do it in our own way.  

To have a sense of belonging, to know you are cared for within a loving family and are part of a cohesive community, shapes your sense of self and direction in life.

Whina Cooper
Hand in hand with her mokopuna, Whina Cooper walks the gravel road on the protest march to Wellington.

It is worth reading about the late Dame Whina Cooper, whāea and kuia, influential Māori leader who protested against the loss of tribal lands and the alienation of her people.Much is written about her determination to restore pride to people, their sense of self and  access to their rightful heritage embodied in their ancestral lands.

Whina Cooper’s actions and words are a study in grandparenting the next generation, in giving direction and showing the way to care for the next generation in Aotearoa New Zealand .


Author: Jenny

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 put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

7 thoughts on “A Study in Grandparenting

  1. “At grandma’s the answer is always “yes”..’… true…reminds me of my grandparents who are no more.

  2. It is so true that parents, grandparents are our mentors, sometimes without us even realizing it. I don’t know how many times, I’ve caught myself thinking, I sound just like my mother!

  3. Grandparents ground us and help us understand our parents and the history that shape our lives. Thank you for writing.

  4. Pingback: Author Interview – Shawn L. Bird – “Grace Awakening” Series (Young Adult Fantasy) “Murdering Mr. Edwards: Tales from Canterbury High” (Short Story Noir) & Poetry Collections | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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