Thursday, December 5, 2013

An example from the Community

After all the discussions over recent years, all the detailed planning, and all the sheer hard toil by a small bunch of dedicated community volunteers through the spring, we now have this astonishing, beautiful park space on the Paihia waterfront: ”Horotutu—Our Place”.

The feature lighting at night changes colour every few seconds. There’s a psychedelic piano for anyone to play, an illuminated diorama of the Bay of Islands, a stunning water and light feature and a telephone box library of books for free exchange. Other “placemaking” projects will be incorporated into this outstanding new amenity.

All this happened because ordinary people had a dream. They didn’t wait for the Council to get round to it. They didn’t look for paid workers to do it all. They took the initiative to do all this planning, negotiating, fund-raising and working to bring this gift to the town themselves.

We who celebrate Christmas with some sense of what it is really about, might well reflect on what has been done in this great little park. If Christmas is about giving, this new “place” expresses the essence of our faith: dedicated, generous, even sacrificial sharing of time, talents and treasure. Those who created Horotutu are an example to us.

Maybe some of the members of our church didn’t help much for this park project. But there are plenty of opportunities for us to explore what we can do to make the world a better place. That’s the spirit of Christmas.

Thrush family survives the storm

We’ve been down at the big smoke signing papers and organising doctor and solicitor and getting to know all the people involved in our move to a Retirement Village next year.

And after the near-drought of recent months, there’s been a cyclonic system arrive from the northwest and our property has had five inches of rain in the three days we were away. We wondered how the thrush in the Totara tree managed? She had no cover at all and it must have been a cold, wet time.

Well, this morning we saw at least two fledglings staggering around the edge of the nest and creeping out on the branches. They’ve apparently survived the rain and the harriers. Now, about to flutter to the ground, they had better keep their little beaks quiet or they will fall victim to one of the local cats.

But their mother, who seemed to make a pretty stupid choice for a home, she’s done the best she could and soon it will be all up to them. They may or may not survive. But hopefully their cheerful song will soon charm our neighbourhood. Ain’t life marvellous?

The thrush is back!

There’s not been too much evidence of action around the thrush’s nest the last couple of weeks. It seems to be all “completed and ready for occupancy” as they say in the Retirement Village. I wondered if a pair of blackbirds in the next tree upset progress but tonight I see the thrush is back, sitting stolidly on the nest.
She’s no doubt hopeful the run of bright fine weather will carry on for some time. But I worry that her nest is very vulnerable to the next cyclonic front that swings down from the tropics.
Time will tell. And I should get back to sorting and reminiscing and throwing out. I’ve got to box No 41 but there’s some distance to go and some interesting stuff to review.
Meanwhile, we have sent in our formal application for a villa. It’s being refurbished and will become “completed and ready for occupancy” in late February. And we are “living tidily” for any possible buyer to come and take a look.