From Japan, we flew to The Bay of Islands in the Far North of NZ.
It is springtime here in New Zealand, and our garden is in full bloom.
Most of the flowers are wild, or they have reseeded themselves through the years.
Because of our travel schedule, I am trying to keep a low maintenance garden, but it is not easy in the very fertile climate of NZ.
Despite the accumulation of five months of weeds, there are yellow, purple and pink irises, large white Cala lilies, orange bellflowers and pink fragrant roses, along with tiny hummingbirds and bumble bees who come to drink the flowers’ nectar.
The air is balmy, not yet hot, and the evenings are pleasantly cool.
It has been over five months since we have been here in New Zealand, and yet the house has remained remarkably clean.
We were a bit concerned since we were absent during the winter season, yet everything looks to be in very good shape.
The interior of the house was exceptionally clean, and in just a few hours, I had vacuumed and polished the hardwood floors.
With the new fitted doors and windows that we’ve installed, there was hardly any dust or bugs inside the house.
It felt good to be back in our own space.
I was very happy during the months we spent in Japan and lacked nothing in the one bedroom apartment that we rented in Sapporo.
The kitchen was small and we only had one pot and one pan, but it felt like the whole city was our kitchen with its many good food choices to dine out, and in the apartment, we had everything that we could possibly need to make delicious meals.
Here in NZ, we have an expensive Italian kitchen with more pots and pans, dishes and glassware than we could possibly need, and at first, it all felt like way too much.
After months of living from a suitcase with limited choices of clothing and no possessions, my initial reaction was that we have way too much of everything…. Too many towels, tablecloths, plates, glassware, bed sheets, living space, furniture and really too much clothing….
Who really needs more than one good knife, a good cast iron pan and a good pot to cook with….
But after a few days my mind has settled into the quiet of this remote place and the the water views from every window, and my heart has quieted again.
The daylight sparkles on the interior walls of the house, and the garden sounds like it is bathed in a symphonic melody.
I have started to feel the magic of the place again.
Places can be truly magical, if you are sensitive or attuned enough to sense their vibrations.
One of the greatest improvements to our life here has been the newly opened Saturday Farmers Market in Kerikeri, where we buy locally grown fresh vegetables and fruit, artisan bread, handmade essential oil soaps, local honey, fresh oysters, home smoked fish, fresh squeezed juices, herbs and so much more.
Many of the vendors know us and happily asked where we were, and expressed their joy at seeing us again.
It felt so different from the quiet anonymity that I felt in Japan.
In Japan, I walked among tens of thousands of people every day, feeling very much at home in the eternal sea of human life, yet not really recognizing anyone in particular.
The Kerikeri farmers market is very well attended by local people and tourists alike.
Today in the market I saw two guys wearing funny t-shirts, which I am adding to this post.
One guy wore a shirt that said: “I used to be a people person, but people ruined it for me!”
He was sweet about my taking his photo, but to be honest, he looked like the kind of guy who gave up on being a “people person” a LONG time ago….
My kind of guy! I believe that it is impossible to please people by choosing your behavior based on what you imagine will make other people happy.
One must stay true to her own core goodness and radiate that out in all that she does and in all circumstances.
Through the years, I found that it is hard enough to please YOURSELF, let alone be bothered about other people’s ever changing opinions.
The second guy that I saw in the market was walking with his wife and his t-shirt simply said: “I do not need Google, my wife knows EVERYTHING!”
In Japan, I saw people who wore t-shirts that had mismatched English words on them or said meaningless things in English like: “Rise your optimal” or “Supreme power sublimes.”
Anyway…. I plan to spend the next few weeks alternating between working in the studio and the garden, weeding the herb garden beds and clearing up unruly vines.
Wishing you a fabulous week!