Tag Archives: belonging

A Conversation with Kiwi – Me

It is Matariki, a time to remember, to celebrate, to gather together, to share stories, and to look forward to a New Year in New Zealand. Thank you, dear Rebecca Budd, for encouraging me to share my story at this time of new beginnings; at this special time when we are celebrating our first national holiday for Matariki, a uniquely New Zealand holiday.

My story is a small one, just one of the millions that make up the story of New Zealand. Rebecca, as many of you know, is a gracious and very kind host whose mission, with the help of her husband, Don, is to bring our ‘everyperson’ stories into the light of the world. I hope, dear readers and listeners, that you will enjoy my story. It is not perfectly told but that’s okay. I know you will be kind and understand that my heart is in it even when my words don’t quite match what I meant to say.

Please join in the podcast conversation at Tea Toast & Trivia. https://teatoasttrivia.com/2022/06/20/season-4-episode-26-travelling-to-new-zealand-with-mandy-henderson/

Season 4 Episode 26: Travelling to New Zealand with Mandy Henderson

In Mandy’s Garden (Photo Credit Mandy Henderson)
I am home again.
My house seems too large, too empty.
In the silent hollow,
I fill vases with flowers.
Flowers for the kitchen window sill,
Cornflowers, lavender, nasturtiums.
Flowers for the bedroom,
Geranium, roses,
And some for the table.
The old posy ring brims full,
And in the stillness of the blooms,
There travels birdsong without,
And words within.
 Mandy Henderson (Written in Dec 2014, after a family visit in Timaru)

Tea with Mandy in her Garden (Photo Credit Mandy Henderson)

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this adventure with you.

Living in the reality of Covid-19, travel has been curtailed, internationally as well as domestically.   While travel is coming back, I have found, over the past months, that travel is possible through the alchemy of technology.

Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia – “The Virtual Journey” which will explore new horizons through the eyes of a friend.  As Marcel Proust reminds me, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Today, I am traveling to New Zealand to meet up with my blogger friend, Mandy Henderson. New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses: the North Island and the South Island and over 700 smaller islands.

I invite you to put the kettle on and join the conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia. I have never been to New Zealand and am excited to be sharing this adventure with you.

In Mandy’s Garden (Photo Credit Mandy Henderson)


If you want to learn more about Matariki ( New Zealand’s newest public holiday) click on this link .

The ‘kiwi’ poll I mention in our conversation was organised by the fine young people who publish THE SYSCA DAILY NEWSY Their latest newsy has a lovely article on Matariki, too.

Now, as Rebecca always says, “until next time we meet, keep safe wherever your adventures take you”.


Alone of a Kind

In our gallivanting the other day, we came upon a striking eucalyptus tree, standing immensely tall and alone  in Ray Blank park. When I say alone, I mean alone of its kind. There were other trees around and even another type of eucalyptus but I couldn’t see, during our brief stop, another one like this one.Alone of its Kind

I am not enamoured of gum trees. In fact, I have been wary ,and deeply suspicious, of them ever since a big gum, suddenly and, seemingly inexplicably, came crashing down on to the back yard of my childhood home.  But, I thought this tree, with its silky smooth, pearly gray bark was worthy of a second glance.  It was a big, superbly healthy and beautifully shaped specimenSilky smooth and shapely

but it seemed so lonesome, so solitary; so needy of second glances.

Do trees get lonely? Animals and humans need, and thrive on, companionship. Is it the same with trees? Possibly, for we are all Beings. We, The Beings, may be educated, cultivated, integrated, adapted, adjusted, transported, transposed, uprooted, replanted, codified, modified, mollified, nourished, cherished and made better off, sub divided and classified, but our fundamental desire is to be; to be alongside; to be with and to be held within our own group, gatherings, kind, family or tribe. We want to be where we belong; where we are not alone of a kind.

In its natural habitat, the gum tree grows among many. Undoubtedly, this fine, isolated specimen at Ray Blank park is currently in a much happier place than its relatives across the ditch (The Tasman Sea) who are experiencing the horrors of fire and brimstone. But does it miss, deep in its core, the feathery touch of leaf against leaf, branch on bark, the familiar perfume of fellow beings on the breeze? Who knows but the tree? It  may be superlatively pleased with its solitary existence; ruler of all it surveys. Pleased to be without irritating neighbours and nibbling, scratching wildlife.

But, inspired by the spirit of creaturely communion,  I offered my companionship. I stood close by, lightly caressed the smooth bark and let our breaths mingle. For me, it felt like a  moment of togtherness. Eucalyptus smells good.Be still and know I hope I didn’t smell too weirdly and off-puttingly human! On reflection, we share the same water source so our essential odours are, perhaps, not too dissimilar.


As I stepped away from the tree, I looked down at my feet and saw  markings like this one on the exposed root systems.Imprinting

They reminded me of images of Australia. They seemed to confirm  how deeply imprinted are our roots. ( Sorry; it can’t be helped. Incorrigibility runs in the family.)

© silkannthreades