Tag Archives: relaxation

The Peace of Wild Things – a poem by Wendell Berry

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry

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….

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And not a wood drake but a solitary Black Swan.

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The Wild Things were calm and untaxed.

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The water still and beautiful.

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It was easy to breathe and calm and feel restored.

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Light on the water

Recently we spent some time up on the Kapiti Coast. The weather was perfect and once the heat began to ebb from the day we went to explore the walk along the Waikanae river that is accessed from the Otaihanga Domain.

When we had young children and when my mother lived near this spot we spent many happy times there.
The Domain is a very large flat grassy area which is perfect for ball games and for children running and playing. It is circled by many leafy trees such Weeping Willows which provide shade and opportunities to climb. It also has the benefit of being a more sheltered spot from our trade mark winds. Many people picnic there. And I see from the link to Otaihanga Domain that there is now a very impressive children’s playground.

The river forms the boundary on one side of the Domain and allows for paddling and dabbling and swimming if there is enough water in the river.

Across a suspension bridge is a path to the left which leads to the beach or other branches which can lead to places we have yet to explore.

To the beach.  Kapiti Island in the distance.

To the beach. Kapiti Island in the distance.


My eye was drawn to the light on the water as we crossed over the bridge.
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And then as we moved down the river pathway.
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A Pukeko family were drawn to the water to dabble casting their own effects on the water and the light playing on it.
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I felt freed from the many pressing challenges that have been part of my daily life for a long time as I watched the light and its interplay with the water. It is impossible to know what the exact dynamics were but that added to the mystery which attracts. And if it was the water playing with the light or the light playing with the water it did not matter in the least as the flow of both was so soothing and relaxing.

This quote from artist James Turrell, that popped into my email inbox minutes before I began to write this post, has added an even more interesting dynamic for me to reflect on deeply.

I mean, light is a substance that is, in fact a thing, but we don’t attribute thing-ness to it. We use light to illuminate other things, something we read, sculpture, painting. And it gladly does this. But the most interesting thing to find is that light is aware that we are looking at it, so that it behaves differently when we are watching it and when we’re not, which imbues it with consciousness. – James Turrell

The theory and practice of summer

In theory we get summer weather here when large, slow moving high pressure weather systems move over the Tasman Sea and settle above our small homeland. This seasons such systems have been very rare.

The good news for us is that right now we have such a one and we are enjoying blue skies, sunshine, hot temperatures and balmy wee breezes. This weekend has seen people out in droves enjoying our beautiful beaches and outdoor areas, putting summer into practice.

Today we headed to Plimmerton and walked along the path by the sea. I sat and relaxed for a bit and took some photos.

This red-billed gull came over to see whether I had any food on offer and rather quickly dismissed me when all I could give him was my attention and the lens of a digital camera.

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It was very hot on the beach and someone had set up a make-shift area of shade using an old rain umbrella firmly attached to a long piece of driftwood.
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In a very surprising turn of events the umbrella did not move. Usually it is too windy for umbrellas at the beach!!!

In the hazy distance sat Mana Island and faintly in the background the outline of the South Island of New Zealand.

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And these people were really enjoying swimming and paddling in the water.

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Now it is time to eat our barbeque dinner outside. It is our third meal of the day to be eaten outdoors. Mmmmmm summertime.

Who needs a soothing, soft walled pink room?

Normal transmission has resumed here with a cold southerly wind blowing rain across in drizzling drifts.

Jazz, our cat loves to keep warm and snug. He has always enjoyed climbing into a fitted sheet that has been draped over the clothes airer.

Once or twice he has misjudged his weight and angles and lines and the clothes airer has either fallen over or someone has grabbed it as it toppled.

Today however he arranged himself comfortably without mishap and while he looks a little worried in the first photo, the soothing pink and soft walls of his hide out were ultimately comforting and relaxing….

Cats remind us of simple messages – seek out a sanctuary in which to rest, seek comfort and relax……

Enjoy the moment, cease the rush

I am having an “at home” day today with a list of chores to attend to. It is so easy to let my busy “monkey mind” take control and push me along to “get on” with things.

But then a useful check to all this happened as I was having a cup of coffee and answering emails. Jazz, our cat, came inside and promptly claimed my knee. It would have been easy to move him on as my mind was reminding me of the next chore but I chose to sit quietly with him and to enjoy his purring and relaxation on my knee.
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Research shows that patting a cat reduces blood pressure and has other wonderfully calming effects on we “busy” humans. I decided all that was worth capturing and maybe cats get great benefits from human love and attention. Who knows?

In true cat style he suddenly decided to move onto a chair next to me. He groomed a little and then curled up to sleep.

But moments had been enjoyed and the “rush” slowed

Stress management tips for Friday

Here are a few tips to reduce stress that I have found in a pile of resources today. They seem worth sharing and even having a laugh over perhaps:

 States of chronic alertness result in the storage of unused adrenalin, sugar, lactate, urine and hormones
 Have a good laugh or cry
 Recall your successes, they can help you through your defeats
 Loosen your jaw, let it sag
 Let your shoulders drop
 Relax your hair and scalp
 Uncurl your fingers and toes
 Let your stomach hang out!
 Slow down your breathing. Fill your stomach with breath as if it was a frog’s.
 Set time aside each day to do something slowly and just for yourself
 Say “No” to a demand on your time.
 Take some time out for you over the coming weekend