Saturday, 23 August 2014

Sunshine and Moonbeams

Hello dear friends, how are you all?
Thank you so much for all your encouraging & caring messages last week. I am sorry that I haven't corresponded with you as I wanted to. It seems that I manage to go along just fine for a bit at a time, then quite suddenly find myself plunging below the emotional surface of life's waters once again; good intentions drown in the swirl. All that I can do is hold steady & do the basics as best that I can until I finally surface. I plan on finding stability one day &... peace. 

I came across this quote by William Martin during the week & I loved it.
"Help your children find the wonder & the marvel of an ordinary life..."
The art of enlivening the ordinary.
 How precious!

I quite often find myself reflecting upon the observation that when a child grows up immersed in the robust & expansive language of love & kindness & the wonder of the ordinary, that they then easily assimilate the rhythms of such a happy, self-accepting life; deeply & indelibly enfolding these things in to their own souls. The values & feelings are never lost, nor do they slip far from reach throughout a lifetime. Conversely, if we grow up without such healthy imprints or with patterns of negativity & destruction, we are equally permanently affected (some more than others) & only later do we perhaps find that we have the choice to reprogram the heart response & function; to learn the language & expressions of love & kindness that were never shown or given to us sufficiently in those early foundational years. It is in those years that we come to understand that others believe us to have value...or that we are, in fact, disposable & value-less.
To seek the wonder & the marvel of an ordinary life well lived can bring healing & richness as we learn the infinite pleasure to be found in the simple touch of a hand, the hug of a friend, the soft, furry devotion of a pet or the scent of the first violets. When value & purpose have been negated we either fade or flounder & fail to fully live or, it becomes a life's mission to restore worth by grace & determination & struggle....& raw belief that we do indeed have the right to a place in this world of ours.   
I have been studying the fascinating subject of the Chinese Five Element Theory these passed few months & have settled on the notion that I am very much a Water personality balanced almost equally with Fire. This knowledge has helped me immensely to understand myself so much better & my reactions to the unhelpful people & events that have so strongly shaped my life. I read somewhere this week that Water is the most vulnerable of the personalities to narcissistic abuse. So now I understand why I have struggled so hugely & my brothers not so much (or barely at all).
Likewise, for some of you this is way too much information, but for others, I know that you so need to hear that you are not alone in your own challenging & oftentimes scary journey.

We marvelled at the insides of this dragon fruit when we sliced it open with a big long knife one recent sunny morning. The startling scarlet colour, studded with black seeds; unexpected, the taste really quite plain.
The fresh lychees were found in the same spot in the supermarket. A precious winter treat.
Elephantine wrinkled skins, yet delicate, smooth & fragrant inside.
The dragon fruit although unremarkable in flavour had a strange effect in the mix. We found that after an hour or two that all the fruit juice at the bottom of the bowl had become a well set, ruby red jelly.

I had been wondering what to do with this chippy old, crazed jug when I suddenly had an idea...
I got Rob to drill a hole in the bottom & planted a sweet little pansy.
Thank goodness for the bright citrus colours of winter fruits.
And for the inexpensive "potted colour" that we can buy at the garden centre. They're pretty good value really as they last for at least 6-8 weeks. Way longer than cut flowers.
I love the sunshine shouty-ness of those early spring blooms. Whenever I see daffodils & forget-me-nots in my garden I declare it must be spring.
These little tete-a-tete are peering through the fence to see the passers-by. They're a little shy.
This boy is in his natural the beach with his dad making a "card" for his mum's birthday.
A sweet gift from a tender-hearted & kind son; written in maori.
It was Anna's birthday on the 10th, our eldest daughter. It was also the time of the perigee or super moon. Apparently we won't see another quite like it until 2034. Rob & I decided to head down to the stop bank near the river & watch the full moon rise. It's easy to recognise the influence & power of the sun, not so much the moon. Funny thing though...Rob was on night shift over this time & it was on that evening that three of the elderly residents decided to depart this world (unprecedented apparently).  
It was fascinating to watch as the sun left, sinking behind the ranges in one direction....
& we waited just a little while, phone in hand to check the direction we should be looking,
when suddenly in the nearly opposite direction the moon arose. Surprise!

Almost...moon on a wire.
The next evening Kaitiaki & Anna came for dinner & as they left they looked up & saw a rainbow around the moon. Extraordinary indeed! The phenomena is known as a moonbow :)
On the really chilly or wet days I have been busy packing up my Trade Me sales & sifting through the  piles of things that inevitably need to be parred down & reassessed in any home. Guess what I was assessing when I found this inspirational picture?
Yes British Country Living, of course.
What a lovely idea. 
A cake stand nature table:

And then came a little sun. Wonderful!
As for the moon...he can be just a little too impertinent for some.
Sleep well my little dears.
May you find even a little wonder in the ordinary this week.
Much love & friendship to you all.
Catherine x0x0x


  1. You sure have some beautiful flowers on display!

  2. interesting post, lovely flowers, I love tete a tete --- we are heading into Autumn here, my favourite Season, today I am cooking elderberries and loving their colour, Betty

    1. Hello Betty,
      Tete a tete is very sweet. I saw lots of pots of them for sale at the Garden Centre this week.
      They were crammed with buds & flowers & looked very appealing.
      I guess they are easier to manage for their pots than regular daffs as they are so much shorter.
      Oh how yummy...your elderberries!
      It won’t be long & we will have elderflowers once more. I must make an elder map of our neighbourhood
      so that I don’t forget where to go back to when it’s berry time.
      We have taken that tonic that I made all through the winter & I’m sure that it’s made a real difference.
      Rob loves it! I topped up the berries twice with more honey & brandy & each lot still came out fine & strong.
      Now we may just have to eat the berries themselves : )
      Thanks for your comment lovely friend.
      Much love Catherine x0x0x

  3. Hello dear GK!
    We have just said good bye to our Chinese/Taiwanese house guest. She is a beautiful follower of Jesus and a delight to be around. She shared some of the Chinese healing theories with me, so I am going to seek out some books. Take care, sweet moon gazer!

  4. I love your beautiful flowers with the sunlight shining through - you create such beauty in your arrangements.

    I also love how you share your heart & am so happy you have beauty around you, family that loves you & much to look forward to in the sweet place you live. It is so hard to let go of past hurts (I know!). Just when we think we've let them go they come creeping back when we least expect it. Keep your face to the future & I pray you have lots of beautiful sun shine & moonbeams in it.

    1. Thank you for your faithful, steady & kind friendship Jenny. What a blessing you are to me. I am happy to have beauty around me for sure. I have thought a great deal about your comment about letting go of the past & I have realised that it's not the past that is the problem but the wildly long string of barbs & behaviours that have followed me to this very moment that are the difficulty. I have hung up my hat as family scapegoat but the energies of ostracism & blame have been sent out to pursue me. If only I could find a cloak of invisibility that would be good! Much love Catherine x0x0x

  5. Hello dear Catherine, there is just so much beauty in your words and pictures I hardly know where to start. Maybe the end is a good place? The two postcards are absolutely adorable and your ‘cake stand nature table’ beautiful. Pansies, snowdrops, primroses – I love them all and have to wait several months before they bloom in the UK. Never mind, I can call on you and look at your wonderful pictures when it’s cold and wet here. The pansy growing in the jug is an inspired idea and one that I’m going to copy. Your pictures of the moon are fantastic. I think I had better stop, but honestly, I love everything!
    I’ve been reading your previous posts and have to agree with you re the news, I find it difficult to watch at the moment and just wish we humans would all be kinder to one another. Take care Catherine, love and hugs, Barbara xxxx

    1. Hello Barbara, thank you for your visit. There really is a very great pleasure to be found in the sharing of like-loved objects, isn't there. When you see the pictures or postcards that I love, I know that you really see I do. And then they are valued all the more in the sharing. Something that would never have dreamt of happening a few years ago. I would have had to come all the way to your book shop, half way around the world!!
      I thought of you when I popped in to a little perennial place yesterday & they had a good number of the dearest little lemon English primroses in flower. I think that I must go back & get some now that I have thought a of a wee spot to plant them.
      Have a happy week amidst your lovely books.
      Much love & friendship, Catherine x0x0x

  6. Your moon photos are just stunning Catherine, as is the moonbow. I did laugh at Rob standing on the gatepost, obviously trying to get phone reception :-) Your flower pictures are always so beautiful no matter what the time of year.
    I have never tried Lychees or the dragonfruit but they look delicious in your fruit salad. I always love the little displays you do throughout the year on that little red formica table you have ... always looks a treat.
    Interestingly a friend came to visit today who is the receptionist in an elderly care hospital in town & she said they lost 3 residents within 2 nights last week so I told her it was the moon (after reading your post)!!! Hope you have a lovely week ahead my friend x0x0

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments on every post, my dear friend.
      Not sure what you’ll think of the lychees..they aren’t like anything else really.
      Quite scented which is why I like to add a splash of rose water if I’m adding them to a fruit salad.
      I remember my grandmother using tinned lychees in a fruit salad about 40 years ago & they seemed so strange, but I loved them.
      She was also one of the first people to start using avocados when they first became available in New Zealand.

      It’s a bit cluttered on my back porch with the red formica table ensconced up their too but I rather like it for little displays...always running out of room on the bench in the kitchen!
      Have a gentle week dear one.
      Much love
      Catherine x0x0x

  7. Hello Catherine,

    A rather inspiring post. I love the contrast of nature/man in the photo with the big tower. Lots of lovely blooms to admire in your garden.Hope you enjoy the rest of the week. Oh and I have never seen the inside of the Dragonfruit, rather colourful, I imagine once cut you would have to more or less use it up.

    Happy days.

    1. Hello Bev, thank for your visit. Yes, I rather liked the juxtaposition of the man/moon presence.
      the dragon fruit really are so bright & colourful yet taste quite like a very bland waxy kiwifruit. There are a second version that has nice pink outside but grey flesh with black seeds. A little weird & still tasteless. However, they seemed to seal themselves overnight & remained quite happily on the bench until the following day when we ate the other half. The are from a kind of cactus plant after all.
      Have a lovely creative week. There must be happy signs of spring your way too by now.
      Much love Catherine x0x0x


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