Tag Archives: peace

Dawn to Dusk in the Embrace of Love

15 Jun


June 15, 2020   –   Monday

Day 1,646


The sun rose at 7:32 and cast its golden glow on the mountain. Half an hour later a thump on the roof woke me from a light sleep and I rose and opened the curtains to the bedroom to look out at the grove and the steps that lead to the forecourt and the drive. The sun glinted through tree branches beyond the garden and silhouetted the shapes of birds flitting through the forest canopy. The steps were wet with dew and a few chaffinches were hopping around checking the area for seed. I couldn’t see what had made the thump and went in to open the curtains in the sitting room.

Another day dawning. Another beautiful, sweet, golden morning, serene and windless, ripe with promise. I turned on the electric heater and was about to prepare Valerie’s tea when I decided to check the steps again. Sure enough, there was Mr. Lonely, a California quail that has been living here on this property since before we arrived some four-and-a-half years ago. Of all the dozens of quail that have visited our land during this year’s long hot summer, only he is left. The rest have packed it in and headed down to the tangled swathe of gorse and blackberry that borders the community vegetable garden half a kilometre down the valley.

I put on my thick terry cloth robe and slippers and went outside to scatter a couple of handfuls of seed into the grove, and, because he was so patient and unafraid, right on the pavers at Mr. Lonely’s feet. He tucked in right away and as I turned to go back inside I could hear the chaffinches and green finches and sparrows flying down from the trees surrounding the house. Breakfast for the birds at the dawn of the world. That’s what it felt like and it’s the same every day. Cold, tranquil, sun dappled and perfect. I smiled and went back inside.

Valerie woke and stretched and murmured good morning sweetly and we had breakfast in bed, warm beneath the covers, watching avian antics as the birds rattled through the seed and the sun rose until it shone directly in the bedroom window. For the umpteenth time I reminded myself to clean the windows as they are hard to see through when the sun blazes through them. It’s like driving up the 309 Road into the setting sun and struggling to see out the streaked and crazed windshield of the car. I add it to the list.

The walkway, version three, is the priority and that is what I end up focusing on for the rest of the day. Guests are coming in four days to celebrate our victory over the virus and I’d like to have it finished before then. I have to stop twice. Once to swap out gas bottles for the kitchen stove and once for lunch. The birds in the grove kept me company and row by row I slowly lay pavers and bricks in a gently curving path from the end of the raised walkway next to the storage room shipping container toward the new steps up to the deck of the forest porch. Time flies and as the sun sets behind the northwest ridge and the light begins to fade I pack up my tools and take stock of my progress. Halfway done and tomorrow when I go into town to replace the gas bottle I’ll have to pick up three more bags of bedding sand and thirty more bricks. I’ll use the trip to take four bags of trash down now that the refuse transfer station is back to running normally. Down and back in two hours if all goes well. And it will.

Night folds its arms around the forest and the stars come out clear and bright. It’s going to be a cold night. Two Moreporks begin calling in the trees down toward the river. I answer, saying hello and goodnight, and wish them good hunting. The moon is waning and won’t be up until late this night. Before sleep takes me I will give thanks for all that this day has given me. Miracles and light, love and laughter. It’s all you need and it’s all right here in the forest. I could not be in a better place.





Way Out

6 May


May 6,  2020

Day 46

Lot18 from totokoroa

Can you see it? The tiny patch of light green tucked into the hillside in the middle left? The picture was taken by a dear friend servicing one of the trap lines that crisscross the estate. For just a moment the trail opens up near the summit of Totokoroa, the hill we own a quarter of, and she can look down on us as our day, and hers, unfolds. This is where we live, in a tiny bubble of love floating in a sea of green on an isolated peninsula of an island nation far out to sea in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 12.29.48 PM

(We’re in the middle of the swathe of deep green near the centre of the peninsula jutting north [to the right] at the bottom right hand corner of this picture of New Zealand’s North Island.)

From a small antenna on our roof we receive radio waves from the rural broadband system and when I hit send on this post, a signal will be broadcast in packets of discrete ones and zeroes and my thoughts and these pictures will enter the ether and digital eternity. I know that’s an oxymoron of sorts, but it will do for now to describe the way we communicate with the outside world. The phone is a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) one that mimics all of the features of a normal land line except that the internet needs to be up and the power on in order for it to work. Cell phone signal is intermittent so we don’t have one and don’t need it or miss it. Mail is delivered to a box just inside the big iron gates at the entrance to the estate a couple of kilometres to the left of the left hand border of the first picture.

The camera is facing east, down toward Whitianga and the Pacific and the endless blue miles of Oblivion’s Sea. Of the compound there is not much visible. If you enlarge the photo the pixels will get larger but the image will become confused. The white structure is the former kitchen storage container. The main house sits behind the lone tree rising from the centre of the green clearing of our front yard. Nothing else can be seen and in time, with the help of some black paint, even the slab side of the shipping container will be camouflaged and disappear into the hillside. We are one with the forest and becoming more so with each passing day. It’s a good place to ride out a storm.

Today’s weather report says the following…


2 New cases. 14 Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to actual cases is 88%. Zero Zeroes today and another death, bringing this nation’s total to 21. Such a small number compared to our population and to the number of deaths from Covid-19 in the rest of the world, but it matters. It mattered to the person who died, it matters still to their family and ultimately, it matters to the family of man.


AIhopeyou are well


The View from Deep Time

A small postscript, if you will, to put things in a wider perspective. It is easy, and entirely understandable and human to be concerned about Covid-19 and its impact on our daily lives but whenever I see the diagram below I am comforted to know that the world’s going to be fine and that I’ve got time to get it right farther on down the line.




I’ll look for you there.


Stay safe and remember…




Hawaii State Flying Disc Championships

28 Jul

Hi all,


This is just a note to tell ‘the world’ (you guys and gals, my blogging friends) that I will be off island for two days. In three hours I’m going to wake up (have to go to sleep first), drive to the Kona International Airport (Love that name. It’s a small airport) and fly to Oahu, have breakfast and then make my way with a friend to Keehi Lagoon where the first of five events in the Hawaii State Flying Disc Championships will be held. Distance, Disc Golf, Self Caught Flight (strange name but look it up), Discathon and Accuracy are the categories that will be contested this year.

I won this event in another life in 1982. Four years ago I came in third. This year I hope to be able to hear exclamations of surprise from the kids as I shed my cane (I don’t really have one but I may cobble one together to add to my decrepit appearance) and try to show them how it’s done. No matter what the outcome I will receive an honorable mention in the ‘Have Fun’ category and that is enough for me. Some of you know how I play disc golf every Sunday. Church of the Disc, I call it. I’ve told a few of you of the magic of watching the sleek, colorful, aerodynamic discs streaking through the air toward distant targets. Throwing them well is a bonus. This weekend promises to be a little bit of nirvana for me and will explain why all comments and replies will cease on the current crop of FridayFictioneer stories.

Have I passed 100 words? (Seems strange going on at length like this.)

I truly do love all you folks and thank you for being there. It’s amazing to think anyone is out there at all, no less reading this. I’m kind of old school I guess.

Wish me luck and I’ll talk to you Sunday night.


Mahalo and Aloha,



God’s Pets Denied

11 Oct

God’s Pets Denied

At the right moment I am going to provision a small boat with water, food and fuel and head out to sea one last time. The first day of travel will see me holding a heading a few degrees South of West toward the distant Beethoven Seamounts. For a time the Big Island will fill the horizon behind me, its brown and green bulk rising above the vog, heat haze and salt laden mist. As the hours pass I will sit astern in the sunlight and let the GPS steer as I watch the lofty shoulders of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa slowly dip below the horizon.

When night falls I’ll toss a sea anchor and sleep, maybe write a bit more. Last thoughts, new thoughts. Perhaps not. If I’ve done my job right there will be enough of my writing in blogs and books so that my son will have some idea of what made me tick and why I passed this way. The stars will be bright out there, sharp, hard and eternal, filling the night with their glorious splendor, lighting the way.

The first dawn out of sight of land will mark one more pendulum sweep of the cosmic metronome that has marked time through all of my days. With that sweep and the ones to follow, I will begin to hear more clearly what has been the background music of my life; the song of the waves, and the voice of the sea calling. I’ll make turns for the equator until I run out of fuel and then see how long I can last, resting in the shade, reading, and listening. Far from land I will see again the world most men never will and end my days unfettered by intravenous tubes and the unwavering schedules of uncaring caretakers. No slow slide into dementia and drug induced torpor. No warehousing of a body that doesn’t know how to stop and a mind in which memories take the place of real life. There will be storms and squalls, fish and sea birds, light shimmering off the waves and endless vistas free of the cares of land. A final laugh, too, one that Samuel Clemens would understand, at the certain knowledge that though the sea will claim me and many creatures will feast, God’s Pets will be denied.

On the far flung reaches of the open ocean, suspended between heaven’s scudding clouds and Davy Jones’ locker, there are no flies. To hell with them.