Weathering the Wainui Winter, May – August, 2015


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It’s been a long, deliciously slow winter where we’ve had plenty of  internal nurturing time as well as plenty of woofer/people time.   We weathered a few short-lasting hail & snow storms but overall it was a nice brisk winter.

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Here’s the recap of what’s been going on here at Birdsong:

In MAY,  once things started to slow down from the harvest,  I decided to focus my intentions inwards and embarked upon a bit of a renovation project for the living room:  new curtains and reupholstering the couches.   I spent many days in Christchurch combing fabric stores and lugging swatches back and forth to Wainui.  I just love texture and color and literally must have looked at a thousand patterns.   In the end, because of our already colorful artworks and décor, we decided to go with a neutral/cream-coloured-flowered print for the curtains and an ash grey textured fabric for our three couches.   The selection and implementation of my ‘project’ took us to late August as we just received the last of the couches.    I am very happy with our decision.

MAY also saw the tackling of the floral garden which had become well overgrown and entrenched in a snakelike grass called twitch which is very hard to eradicate as it will re-grow it’s tendril-like roots from the smallest piece left behind.   I hired Daisy Chain gardeners and the two lovely women came once a week for five weeks to help me dig and fork over the floral beds.   I hauled many, many bags of weeds to the dump that month!  We mulched the garden with pea straw and wood chips and left it for the winter.  The last of the pictures shows what it looks like now at the end of August – still a bit messy but I’m hoping the weeds are now surpressed and it will look lovely come summer!

We hosted a four-person woofer team for ten days in JUNE that overlapped the winter solstice.  All hailing from the United States, Lauren, Vincent, Gary, and Zach were an amazing cohort and we got heaps done and had a lot of fun.   The main projects were to begin the multi-monthlong cutting and processing of trees as we’re gearing up for a big tree-felling job in September.  Bruce and the crew spent several days chainsawing and chipping small trees.  We also spent a few days in the orchard weeding around each of the fruit trees and then mulching with wood chips.   On rainy days we managed to clean windows, crack walnuts, and do some work in the garage.

For the solstice, Bruce wanted to build a walking labrynth in the backyard and set out cutting small bits of wooden stakes on the table saw.   Hmmm, a quick nano-second slip saw his finger meeting the table saw blade and a trip to the Akaroa medical clinic ensued where his fingertip was mushed back on (technical term), wrapped, and left to see what happened.   All I have to say is that the body is a miraculous organism – every three days the bandage had to be changed and many trips to the clinic occurred.  I barely could look at the globule that was his fingertip.   But as the weeks went by, over the course of July and August, the finger has healed and now there is just the tiniest bit of scar and the finger is back in it’s leather glove in action operating power tools!  Go Bruce!


And not to be defeated,  Bruce, with finger wrapped, built the labyrinth in time for the solstice.   We use it as a place for walking meditation as it takes about ten minutes to slowly walk it from the outside to the center.  We’ve left it up for the winter and now are going to mow a path through it for spring/summer.

Not all work and no play,  we managed to sneak in a few hikes and some relaxation meditation.  And we ate really, really well, thanks to everyone who pitched in and offered to share their culinary skills.       Thank you team USA!

JULY began our very internally focused time as it is the heart of winter and we spent much time indoors, Bruce recovering from his finger injury and me continuing to work on the couch & curtain project.  We busted out the arts and crafts and began work on some fun projects.  And I managed to finally launch our Birdsong Facebook Page – if you’re reading this and on Facebook,  click on over and say hello.   We’ve got lots of great photos of Birdsong on there.     And THEN we got on a plane and got ourselves to Fiji for 2 ½ weeks!!!

We carried on throughout AUGUST just grooving through the winter, not doing much outside.   I listened to and participated on a several free telesummits throughout winter.  The free telesummit has been a new discovery for me – there seem to be many people offering free multi-week-long ‘summits’ on a variety of topics where they interview some of the top people in the respective field of the summit.    The first one I did was organised and hosted by Bebe Butler and was called “The Painted Guru:  Discover how Art can Heal the Heart, Inspire the Soul and Soothe the Mind”.   For two weeks, she interviewed a different inspirational artist (mainly from the States) each day and I was exposed to many great people, some of whom I’m now following.  Then I moved on to the 21-day Inner Warrior Summit: Cut Through Chaos, Reclaim Your Power with Susan Jenkins which featured interviews with leading spiritual teachers, shamans, and transformational coaches.   Lastly,  I just finished up with Amber Bonnici’s Women Unleashed:  Awaken Your Power, Passion, & Purpose On-Line Retreat which focused on journaling, art, yoga, and dance with sessions led by top teachers and artists from around the world.     All of these summits were amazing and exposed me to many new people, they helped get my creative juices flowing and inspired me to keep moving forward with unleashing my vision for Birdsong!

The end of the month closed with our friend Kat visiting for a week.  We had a spectacular ‘retreat’ week with lots of soul nourishing activities:   cooking (especially with stinging nettle), short walks on the beach, flax weaving, lying on the couches chatting, and painting together.   Kat has been my #1 painting buddy over the last year as I delve into my new hobby and way for me to nurture my soul.   We worked on a new technique following Maestra Shiloh Sophia and we managed to smash out a few ‘muses’ with a lot of laughter and hilarity.   Kat, who makes wonderful fingerknit hats and hand/leg warmers banged out a pair of styling leg warmers for me which I’m stoked about!!!    And she collaborated and inspired us to begin doing Birdsong Bookshelf Knowledge Sharing videos which we’ll soon be putting on YouTube and The Birdsong Facebook page.


Even though it’s been slow, it’s certainly been all go!   And now the earth rotates again and we slowly unfold into spring.  The daffodils are up and the weather is beginning to warm.  Onwards ho!