photo taken by Jenny Powell
It seems an age since Jenny and I went on our latest J&K Rolling poetry reading whistle-stop to Orepuki. I cannot believe it was only three weeks ago.
Looking back, the standouts have to be:
*The reception we got at the Orepuki Beach Cafe; their warm hospitality and in return for us bringing our poetry, the great meals they gave us, cooked from food sourced from their farm and from the ocean at their doorstep.
*The people who came along to hear us read and their participation in the open mic. part of the proceedings.
*The scenery around Orepuki that never fails to speaks to me of home.
*Being able to show Jenny around my 'heart's home'.
*Waking up to an Orepuki morning for the first time since leaving here as a child. (I have visited many times, but there's never been a place to stay. Now there's the lovely, comfortable Quartz Cottage for visitors to stay in).
Mum loved ragwort, even going so far as to tend a stray wind-blown plant that popped up in her Palmerston North backyard!
It was because this weed with the brilliant yellow flower, reminded her of the ragwort-covered paddocks of her childhood home in Orepuki. As children they got paid to collect it by the sack-full, because it was perceived as poisonous for cropping animals. (In fact, cropping animals tend to avoid it. However this also means that if left to its own devices, it will take over pasture. So, in fact, having children collect it was not a bad idea).
The mention of my mother leads me to perhaps the over-riding highlight of our whistle-stop.
Both Jenny and I knew that the theme for this reading tour would be 'Mothers'. Both our mothers passed away last year and two other people important to us also recently lost their mothers.
This was a trip to where my mother was born and brought up. It seemed written in the stars that we would be aware of our mothers and alert to the signs that we had their blessing.
And so it was.
The ragwort for me was just one of many such quiet signs.
Yellow roses are another reminder for me of my mother. It was the flower her and Dad claimed as 'their flower'. Dad's mother (my Granny McKenzie) had them growing at the house where he grew up. Because he worked on the family farm, he had access to these yellow climbing roses and on their anniversary (when he remebered, perhaps!) he'd pick one for Mum. Simple, effective, endearing and best of all I'm sure in Dad's eyes, free!
drowning water lily ...
A water lily just hanging on and no more. I am very fond of water lilies. Recently I have felt like this particular water lily, a little discombobulated and trying hard to keep its head above water.
There's been a lot needing done around here on the home front, but we're getting there.
bed made up and ready for family coming to stay
cot fit for a grandchild