Monthly Archives: April 2009

A welcome return

Our Tui is back. I like to think of him (or is it a her?) as “our” tui because for the last few years he returns in the autumn and does not leave the area until summer time when I’m presuming he has to find food sources elsewhere.

When we shifted here 20 years ago I used to dream of having Tui in our garden and in the surrounding bushy areas.  What I did not know at the time was that many, many people were working to make my dream come true.  Our growing population of Tui thoughout the region is due to the establishment of wildlife and bird sanctuaries, the planting of native plants and trees and an ongoing  predator eradication programme.

We have just experienced a long dry summer and autumn and the Tui’s return seems a little later than normal, so he is especially welcome this season.   Last year we witnessed a Tui trio late in spring.  We presume it was the parents with their young offspring.

Our neighbours have a large evergreen magnolia tree which the Tui loves to sit in and sing, sometimes  up to an hour at a time.  The Tui has a double voice box which allows it to sing the most beautiful fluting notes in addition to croaks, gurgles, twitters and squawks.  His recitals are show stoppers and I am fortunate to have a front row seat only a 3 or 4 metres away from him.

We have planted two kowhai trees in our garden and are now nurturing several seedlings from these trees.  I hope this small, ordinary contribution makes a difference in years to come in providing food for the growing Tui numbers and to our Tui and his/her families in the future.

Rimus, reflection and restoration

Recently on another blog the question was asked: ” Where is your favourite bush walk?”  Here in New Zealand that means native bush.  My favourite place to walk in the bush is in Otari bush in Wellington.

My parents took us there as children and my parents’ ashes are now buried beneath a young Rimu sapling that we planted in the reserve in 2004.  The sapling we planted to commemorate our parents has grown from a seed from the 600 year old Rimu that lives in a different area of this bush.  Not only is there the 600 year old Rimu but in the same clearing there is an 800 year old giant.

There are many tracks to follow in this wonderful bush reserve but my favourite is the one that runs from the Northern carpark to the Troup Picnic area.  The path is always shaded no matter what time of the year it is.  The path tracks alongside the stream through beautiful tall trees, smaller native plants, ferns, tree ferns, mosses and lichens. 

Once at the picnic area the stream is very easy to access and it is fun to watch children paddling, searching for small creatures and attempting to dam the flow with rocks.

The calls and songs of the various native birds that live there are a delight.

 It is very easy to forget the cares of the world once in the bush.   I find it restful and restorative; a place to reflect and remember in; a place to wonder and experience awe.

Where is your favourite bush walk?

Goodness from mentoring

I’ve just been to see a health practitioner for an annual check up.  My practitioner has cared for our family for over 15 years now and so knows us well. One of my adult children is studying to become a practitioner in this field. 

Our practitioner generously offers work experience to my son whenever he is at home on university holidays.  Not only is he able to observe her work, once patient consent has been granted, but she challenges him with questions, ideas  and theories during the consultation.  He has an excellent knowledge of a range of specialist products used in this field and she draws on this to assist in her treatment plans.

As a self employed business owner time is money so there is a business cost to her in having a student sit in.  There is also a personal cost to her in terms of her having to think about involving and challenging him while at the same time providing a professional service as a qualified specialist to her patients.

It is a fine example of mentoring and one that will benefit both the field they have chosen to work in but more especially my son’s future and the people he treats.  Her generosity will not hit the media headlines and her mentoring may not be seen as anything more than what “should” happen in health professions.  So it could be deemed ordinary practice but the goodness is far reaching.

Ordinary good

I read somewhere recently that it is unlikely that we, as individual human beings, are each going to be able to do exceptional good in the world.  It suggested that  we could each do a lot of ordinary good and that could make an exceptional difference in the world.  This idea appealed to me a lot. 

After a series of major life altering and life threatening events in my life I find myself in a vastly different place to the one I was anticipating 6 years ago.  One of the many ways that have helped me adapt to my new circumstances is to look for the ordinary and good things around me and to really enjoy those.   I also love exceptional and extra special people, events and occasions but my focus in this blog will be on the more humble, day by day, good things that are meaningful to me. 

Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  I figure if we all do our little bit to make the world a more pleasant and positive place then that is a pretty good place to begin.