Saturday, June 27, 2015

Himatangi Beach

 Himatangi Beach in winter (June 27 2015)

 It is when I am walking in nature that I can often find the sacred- whether it be at the beach, or in the bush... This extract somehow sums it up.

from Terry Hershey’s The Power of Pause 
A fuller version of this is on the blog by Paul Campbell SJ- as Wisdom Story- 250. 

“Oh, Papa,” the son replied. “There is no need to worry. I go into the woods to pray. It is in the woods that I can talk to God.”
“Oh,” the rabbi said, clearly relieved, “But as the son of a rabbi, you should know that God is the same everywhere.”
“Yes, Papa. I know that God is the same everywhere. But I am not.”

Caress of God

  "Every day we are all called to become a “caress of God.”
Pope Francis

Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekend's Flooding

We had some 30mm of rain here in Palmerston North on Friday, then on Saturday the rains simply didn't stop. Though not torrential, it just kept on raining... People were becoming afraid we might have a repeat of the 2004 floods, but thankfully for us in the city, the stopbanks gave us ample protection. We had about 132mm of rain on Saturday, but fortunately, hardly any on Sunday, and the sun even poked through a little.

The same cannot be said for those in some other areas though- and our thoughts are with people in flooded parts of Whanganui- and in Waitotara and Whangaehu. And some in the rural areas not far from our city have suffered too, and it seems that the marae at Rangiotu, te Rangimarie, has been badly flooded.

Here are some photos taken near the river on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday the river peaked around lunchtime, before falling again.

This first photo was taken on Saturday at the end of Ruahine St when the waters were ponding in an area where people can usually run their dogs. And the second photo was taken on Sunday when the waters had become a raging torrent- same spot.

These next two photos were taken from the 'lookout' over the river, near the bridge, just below the Esplanade. On Saturday I ventured out onto it, though you could hear/feel the water flowing through underneath. On Sunday, you could barely even see the lookout.

There were many sightseers on Sunday, taking a look at how our popular riverside walking track was no longer accessible.

 I'll go back another day to see how high on our flood marker these waters came.

And for now, all due credit to the engineers who designed our stopbanks. Though it may have been 'annoying' to lose access to the river when they were being constructed, when the rains come like this, we are very much glad to have them.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Canticle of the Sun

extract from Canticle of the Sun- by St Francis of Assisi 

 Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars, in heaven you formed them
clear and precious and beautiful. 

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste. 

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong. 

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs. 

Photo of St Francis and the wolf- Gubbio, Italy, April 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Noticing in nature

feather, lying on old street in Nocera Umbria, Italy, April 2015

"Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; Contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity."

Saint John Paul II

Monday, June 15, 2015

Autumn's End

Take your time

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. 
Always listen to the art.” 
~Junot Diaz

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Esplanade- early winter

I really do love the Esplanade in Palmy, especially for a quiet, calm, weekend walk- and the glory of the park is that it holds beautiful surprises, whatever the season. Today the sun 'hid' most of the time I was there, but autumn colours were still poking through, giving joy in early winter. Here are a selection of photos from this morning.

 This track is from the Esplanade mini-train line, and it reminds me of childhood, when Dad was a guard on the Railways who had to switch over the lines...

 There were still rose blooms in the Rose Garden, though on their 'last legs', and no doubt due for the pruning shears soon.

 In summertime brides will grace this pagoda, now looking a bit sad and wintry.

 The floral gardens have been replanted, to give colour over winter and in early spring.

 By the children's paddling pool- umm yes, will try and remember this in my panic.

 A rare pateke duck- being bred for release into the wild I think. Seemed awfully solitary for it in there today.

 Despite the grey. overcast skies, the leaf colours on this ginkgo shone forth into the Esplanade- one of several magnificent specimens.

 These leaves really do tell a tale of early winter.

 Crunch... snap....

 Fungi on the remnants of a rotting tree stump.

The sun came out just as my walk was ending- to highlight these autumn berries.

So, next time I go walking in the Esplanade, I wonder what new things I will see....