Forty-four and ready for more: Birthday bonanza!

Kathy & BruceI am 44 years and 2 weeks old. Life is pretty darn good. So it’s weird to recall that I was in such a state when about to turn 40. I definitely went through a short middle-life crisis period: what was I doing with myself, what did I want to do, did I have any regrets? It’s always good to ask oneself these questions and probably more poignant to ask them when you’re halfway or more through your life. I suppose that was a good time to go through the turmoil because, partially, as a result of that time, I’ve changed my life and I’m enjoying my new adventures quite a bit.

My second New Zealand birthday was approaching and I had no clue what I wanted to do. Was I feeling introverted or extroverted? Party with friends or quiet day with Bruce? Well, the purchase of the Wainui property helped answer the question. As did the fact that realtor friend Maggie celebrated her birthday the week before mine. We decided we should have a BBQ at the Wainui property and both invite friends. It would also serve as a combined housewarming party.

Bruce & DarylTobiMerlyn

I invited sixteen friends. Since the trip to Wainui is a good 1-½ hrs from Christchurch, I invited everyone to spend the night so as to not make for a long day of driving. Everyone accepted. Maggie invited another ten people. It was going to make for a full house for sure.


The weekend came and was stunningly beautiful. Roelf manned the grill; everyone brought delicious treats to share. Friend Briar and her daughter Merlyn made me an awesome chocolate raspberry cake to supplement the passionfruit mango cake that we purchased.

In lieu of gifts, I asked people to bring a blessing for our land. Several people contributed and wrote some beautiful blessings. Here’s what we got:

Baraka by Sess {baraka means ‘blessing’ in Kiswahili; Sess came upon this word while serving in the Peace Corps in Africa}

Baraka is a silent stream
Outwelling from the wellspring
Of the sprightly cove –
Water welling with the foam
That’s mending sand to tide
That’s sending sighs to loam,
and lick.
These crayoned hills
With pastel, leal winds
With feal, valorous runs of rain
And summer’s breath.

Baraka is a mountain’s hush
Outpouring from the lush
And wizened canopy of greenery –
Forest tithing leaves to dust
That churns the dust to seed
That kneads the seed to shoot,
and rise.
Arise, these crayoned hills
To fill up Bruce with bounty
To fix the vixen Kathy
With valley warmth
Of winter’s hearth.

This is the breath for which you’ve burned,
This is the hearth to which you’ve yearned,
The next, enlivening mode:
251 Wainui Valley Road.

Maggie’s friends Peter & Doreen contributed this blessing:

God in Heaven who created all things and who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, we thank you for the air that we breathe and the ground that we stand on.

We ask you to bless the labour of our hands, as we use this good land to bring happiness to ourselves and blessings to others.

May our relationship together and with our friends remain as firm and solid as this ground on which we stand.

We dedicate this land and all who stand on it to You and pray the blessing of Almighty God upon each of us here today and whoever comes in the future.


From Amba: According to Tao, site is the source of bliss, the communion of architectonics, the place and space to which we attract the content of the imagination, joy for the heart; where we can sink our fingers into the earth and grow a home. You wanted to fuse with Aotearoa to bury American roots in NZ soil, and here you have the blessing of the universe to do just that. Much aroha as you gift yourselves to the land as the land embraces you and supports your growth and your enduring love. What is beautiful in its beginning is beautiful throughout.

From Kirsty:

Gaelic Blessing:

May you always be blessed;with walls for the wind,a roof for the rain,a warm cup of tea by the fire,laughter to cheer you,those you love near you and all that your heart might desire.

The Navajo Blessing


May this be a good place for you to live , may you be happy in this home;
may our lives be long and happy in this home.
May you live in this home happily and peacefully and with respect.
May you have a happy life in this place. Yourselves, your relatives, whomever may come into this place, may they relax
peacefully and rest up. May all of you have no sickness, no misfortunes.
May your house be in harmony; From your head, may it be happy;
To your feet, may it be happy; Where you lie, may it be happy;
All above you, may it be happy; All around you, may it be happy;
May your fire be well made and happy; May the sun,
our mother’s ancestor, be happy for this gift;
May it be happy as you walk around your house; May this road of light,
our mother’s ancestor, be happy.



It was a heartfelt day for me, to be surrounded by so many wonderful friends, to be standing on our new land, gazing at an amazing view. A couple of our friends who are good at tapping into the energies of the universe or nature spirits or higher vibrations or whatever you want to call them, reported back that the energy of the property was very good. Gen said we were on an energy vortex – an amplifier of sorts. She said the property’s nature spirits were pleased with Bruce & I buying the property and that they’d be happy to work with us – we just need to ask them for help {there are actually books on this topic which we have: The Perelandra Garden Books (Vol I&II) and The Findhorn Garden}.

Everyone managed to tuck in fine. We had four bedrooms, two unfinished bedrooms in the outbuilding, and two caravans for people to sleep in. Only two people had to sleep on the living room floor. The warm sunshine came early on Sunday morning and folks were up basking in its’ glory, doing tai chi on the lawn, and enjoying the day.

Tai ChiSess & DarylRelaxing on the deck

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Life is good. Everybody dance.