A Reflection for the month of July

“I know that you are not afraid.” -Suzanne Aubert Meri Hōhepa

For a week in late September, the “Great Kererū Count” is on. People from across the country are encouraged to report where, when and how many of these native wood pigeons can be seen. It has proved a reliable way to track the health of their population, and Kererū are easily spotted perched on a branch or swooping among the tree tops.  They are hard to miss. If the distinctive white of their breast feathers against dark green and blue plumage wasn’t enough to give them away, the thumping sound of their flight almost certainly would. They appear majestic and play a vital role in dispersing the seeds of native New Zealand species such as karaka, miro , tawa and taraire across large areas, being one of the few forest birds large enough to swallow the fruit whole. Their capacity for fruit, berries and nuts has ensured they are as comfortable plundering an urban garden as they are working through the upper reaches of a podocarp woodland. A famous downside of their seasonal gorging however, is that they can over do it and become sluggish or appear drunk.

Kererū may enjoy the status of a protected species, but now, as in times past, they are vulnerable. Their feathers have many decorative uses.

In a world which demands purpose and value, the words from the introduction to the Compassion journal, a booklet of blank pages and few quotations, are worth considering:
The practice of pausing to reflect for a moment of “mindfulness” each day is nothing new. Suzanne Aubert Meri Hōhepa called it Recollection. “It unveils for us the secrets of eternity. Never let us give up,” she said.

The gentle discipline of trying to put into words or images, something that sits in that place beyond our day to day language, can be its own reward. It is certainly an invitation.

Let us ask ourselves, what would I put on my “blank pages”?