Tag Archives: childhood

Now is the hour

After my brief break to honour  Anzac Day, I am returning to my blogcation story.

Two nights and three short days have passed. Now  it is time for my friend to embark on the next stage of her journey. It is time, it is the hour, for us to say goodbye, just as we have  done before. We know the words well. They are words that are integral to an island childhood of many farewells, and, sometimes, few returnings.

Words, as integral as the liturgies, the creeds, the  hymns and Bible stories my friend and I  absorbed,  filtered through layers of cultural and religious and missionary ambiguities and diversities. The miracle is that  we absorbed and retained any of the Anglican faith at all, surrounded as we were by every religion, and interpretation of it, that one could imagine. For example, Diwali was almost as much fun as Christmas; the sounds of the   Call to Prayer were more part of our day than the ringing of church bells; fasting could mean Ramadan or Lent, missionaries could mean Methodist or Mormon, and so on; but, as children, we simply accepted  all the differences of faith with equanimity, as part of what made our community specifically ours.

As a parting gift, and in memory of those early shared bonds of faith, my friend gave me an extraordinarily beautiful book “The Scrolls Illuminated”, illustrated by Australian artist  Fiona Pfennigwerth.

The Scrolls Illuminated, illustrated by Fiona Pfenningwerth

The Scrolls Illuminated, illustrated by Fiona Pfennigwerth

Fiona takes 5 ancient texts from the Bible and uses her understanding of Australian nature, and the Bible, to bring the texts  ” across time, culture and geography to those of us in the 21st century “at the ends of the earth” – and anywhere between.” She enriches old stories of faith by adding a unique Australian filter; much as we children grew our faith through a particular Pacific lens.  The book was  the project for Fiona’s Honours and PhD studies in Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

And the result of her talent and study is Joy; pure Joy.

I commend joy Ecclesiastes 8:15

I commend joy
Ecclesiastes 8:15


Yesterday we commemorated Anzac Day. “Now is the Hour”/  “Po Atarau” has been  sung as a farewell to our troops as far back as the First World War. It was also sung when passenger ships left Fiji. “Now is the Hour” became a huge international hit in the late 1940s, thanks to Gracie Fields and Bing Crosby.

© silkannthreades



Seeing the New and the Old

The blogcation saga continues…..

From  childhood days to the present……..where my friend and I  re-visit  old connections, in new contexts, at the Pacific Chapel, in the Transitional  Cardboard Cathedral,

Pacific Chapel, Cardboard Cathedral.

Pacific Chapel, Cardboard Cathedral.

and consider how our lives have changed,

and our landscapes,

The Broken Cathedral

The Broken Cathedral

yet discover we remain young at heart and *best friends forever.

(*Cautionary note: the concept of ‘best friends forever’ was not one that was part of my colonial ‘growing up’. In our social circle, at school, at church, people came and went. Some came for 3 years, some for six months, some children only came ‘home’ for school holidays; there was no ‘forever’ in relationships. There was only now and a knowing that, eventually,  everyone would leave. Yet, it is that lack of permanence in our community that, somehow, continues to hold us together, forever. )

Sunday Best

Sunday Best

Update:  It’s almost a month now since my childhood  friend came to visit and we discussed, amongst many memories, our spiritual beginnings in the Anglican Church in Fiji. Our faith journeys have taken different paths since those early years, but I continue to find great solace and peace in Anglican church surroundings. For me, stepping in to certain Anglican churches is like a home-coming.

© silkannthreades


In my previous  post, we took a brief look in the rear view mirror. This post goes further back, to the beginning of my blogcation, in late March.

Preparing for my weekend visitor, I fill the vases…..

for the table

Borage, Salvia and Sage

Borage, Salvia and Sage in Blue

Yellow Rocket and Mexican Orange Blossom Leaves

Yellow Rocket and Mexican Orange Blossom Leaves

and for the bedroom

Monet and Chilean Guava

Monet and Chilean Guava


Today, April 13 is Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. One of my favourite websites for plant information is this one http://www.monticello.org/site/visit . I would like to visit the Monticello gardens, one day.  In the meantime, I looked up sage and borage to see if they featured at Monticello, and they do. I particularly liked this reference to  sage/salvia.

“This Mediterranean shrub has been grown in gardens since at least the thirteenth century. It was thought to prolong life, even “render men immortal.” Sage was a standard item in gardens from colonial times, and was included by Jefferson in a list of “Objects for the garden this year” in 1794. The term Salvia comes from the Latin salveo meaning “I am well,” a reference to its virtuous powers. In addition to being a useful culinary herb, Sage is an attractive ornamental dwarf shrub that attracts bees and butterflies, but is not favored by deer.”

Although I do not have to worry about deer ( snails are bad enough! ) eating my plants, I love that I have a plant in my garden that  relates to health and well-being and healing. How lovely to look back and realise that I greeted my special guest with a vase of ‘well being”.

© silkannthreades


Are you ready ?

I was born to gallivant …….

always ready for an expedition, on real wheels

Ready to ride.

Ready to ride, at 6 months @ Verona Street, Lautoka

or imagined ones.

Making do

Making do…..Verona Street, Lautoka, Fiji.

Are you ready to resume our journey again? I am.

Good friend, GPCox of http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/ ,says I have been away for 17 days. Gosh, has it been that long?  🙂

© silkannthreades




Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I was perusing my birthday cards and gifts, and wondering where to display them, when it occurred to me that the cards, so thoughtfully chosen by friends and family, were like special snapshots of my life; the yesterday, today, and tomorrow of it.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is the common name of a flowering plant that used to grow in the garden of my childhood home. To us, it was known as Morning, Noon and Night.  I was fascinated by it because it had the prettiest flowers. Some were white and some were dark purple and others were in between.   A plant with three different coloured flowers! How was this possible? I didn’t know then that the colours of the flowers represented their ages and stages, but I did know about grafting because I had watched a man graft two hibiscus plants for our garden.  So my little head imagined that a very clever person had managed to graft together a Morning Plant, a Noon Plant and a Night Plant to create this  wondrous hybrid. The fact that no one seemed to own a Morning Plant or a Noon or a Night one  was a puzzle but not too concerning. The world was full of puzzles yet to be solved.  Fellow blogger Pleisbilongtumi  at http://pleisbilongtumi.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/inside-the-beauty-of-brunfelsia-uniflora/#comments has  beautiful photos of  this  garden treasure as it is in his part of the world.

Other treasures, for me, in our family garden were the frangipani trees. I loved them for their rich satiny and sweetly perfumed flowers. I loved their shade. I loved climbing them. I loved watching the ants climbing them. Here is my Yesterday birthday card from my parents and my sister. In  Yesterday,  I dawdled completely absorbed in  natural beauty and my greatest concern may have been nothing more than the whereabouts of the Morning Plant. Well, yes, that and the annoying boy who had a go-kart and who lived in the hotel around the corner  and refused to be my boyfriend. What was he thinking?Memories of Frangipani

Here, from a dear friend who has been beside me almost since the days of Yesterday , is the Today Card. Today is a Balancing Act. I have to negotiate the mundane and often precarious materiality of the adult world. Yet, in the tumbly jumble of that world, the preservation of my soul depends on my rushed efforts to  consciously apply and reapply beauty and graciousness  lest I lose sight of them.Today's Balancing Act

From my brother comes the Tomorrow card. It is a little bit in Yesterday, too, because our first cat, Tiddles, looked similar to this creature. Tiddles enjoyed sleeping comfortably  amongst the gerberas.Tomorrow? What's that?Now I am not intending to, and my brother doesn’t intend that I should, follow the words on the card and sleep my way through the future. I will leave that to the current cat of the house. The Tomorrow card is an aspirational card. It expresses a wish for contentment, peace, relaxation and an accepting oneness with both the natural and man-made worlds.  Tomorrow can be here as soon as the next breath but, in the long term view, it  contains the hope that keeps the heart beating.

What happens when I mingle these cards of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow? How does my life look?  Is it  beauty or mess? Or some of each?RenderedEither way, can you see the heart in the middle of it all?

Peg note: If you are wondering why my cards are pegged on a line, it’s because, in contemplating the cards and their relevance to my life, I was, in a sense, “hanging myself out to dry”.  The cards, hung by pegs, also remind me of photos being developed and brought to life. And, on the mundane side, it was scorchingly hot indoors, so it was much nicer being outside taking photos in the shade of the pergola.

© silkannthreades