It is ANZAC day here in New Zealand. Today we remember all the members of the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces who have served in wars.
Today I am remembering the following members of my family who served in the two world wars and who, remarkably and thankfully all returned home.
Harry Morrison, Army Sapper, Tunnelling Company of NZ Engineers. WW1
Reginald Morrison, Wellington Infantry Battalion, WW1 and Home Guard WW11
Raymond Morrison, 33rd Reinforcements, E company, WW1
Alexander Grey, Medical Corps, Egypt, WW1
Albert Edward Simmons, Rifleman, Western Front, Europe, WW1
Alexander(Lex) Grey, RNZAF, Seconded to Fleet Air Arm, WW11
It has been my interest in family history and the research that I have done that has bought this aspect history alive for me. I have a much greater appreciation of their contributions, sacrifices and the long term effects on them all now.
For those of you who love to see NZ birds, feast your eyes on these stunning photographs and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.
“The earth laughs in flowers”
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Late roses in my garden today.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things” from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press.
Source: Collected Poems 1957-1982 (Counterpoint Press, 1985)
I followed the wise words of Wendell Berry and went to Pauatahanui today.
By the Inlet I found a Heron feeding….
And not a wood drake but a solitary Black Swan.
The Wild Things were calm and untaxed.
The water still and beautiful.
It was easy to breathe and calm and feel restored.
On the first anniversary of my brother’s death I visited the Wellington Botanical Gardens where he and I had left small footprints as children, visiting with our parents. And where in the mid 1970’s he left more footprints when he worked there as a gardener.
During my visit I wondered if perhaps had he stopped work and stood and enjoyed this view
Or perhaps he had rested in the summer heat under this Weeping Willow tree
Or cut this long, steep, grassy bank.
And behind me as I took these photographs was A Field of Remembrance.
866 white crosses bearing the names of Wellingtonians who were casualties of WW1 between 1914-15.
This field is but one of many that have been established around our country to commemorate those who lost their lives.
In April of 2015–2018, part of Wellington Botanic Garden will become a place to reflect on and remember those who died World War I. Sited on Salamanca Lawn, towards Salamanca Road, the Fields of Remembrance will feature replica Flanders field poppies and 866 white crosses to commemorate the Wellingtonians who died in service in 1915. We’ve worked with the Fields of Remembrance Trust to make this event possible. 10–28 April.
Gallivanta in Christchurch has posted about visiting the one in her city.
A steady trickle of quiet, sombre, reflective visitors moved amongst the crosses and spent time with their own thoughts, feeling and memories.