Last Sunday, just after midday, I had what I consider to have been an amazing experience. I was down at the east end of Coopers Beach with a wheelbarrow collecting seaweed for the garden. A stream of people arrived at the beach near where I was working. Their numbers grew. I noticed one of them was the pastor of one of our local churches. Next a friend of ours left the group to run over to me. I hadn’t seen her for some months. She exclaimed excitedly that her daughter, whom we’ve known since she was primary school age, was about to be baptized.

I dropped everything to join the group of people, many of them familiar faces, as they approached the water’s edge. The tide was low and the surface was choppy. A cool south-westerly buffeted us. Just as the first of three baptism candidates entered the water shivering in a wetsuit, a flock of several hundred petrels, began feeding all around us. According to Te Ara, The New Zealand online encyclopedia, ‘Petrels are remarkable birds. Most spend their lives at sea and come to land only to breed.’

In the eleven years we’ve lived at Coopers Beach, I have never seen petrels anywhere near the beach. I’ve observed them in the distance from Tokerau Beach. That’s all. This time they were so close you could almost touch them. Even more remarkable was that the birds were sitting on the water’s surface, periodically submerging their heads to catch small fish. The motion was exactly that of the people being baptized.

Storm Petrels

Less than a minute after the third person was baptized the birds had left. It was almost as if they had collectively responded to the obvious excitement of the group of baptismal candidates and their supporters. It felt like a blessing to me.

I don’t believe the above incident was a coincidence. I can’t prove this but there are many books covering the scientific phenomenon outlining the interconnectedness of all beings and things, which goes a long way towards explaining such synchronous events. Dr. Bruce Lipton has two books in our little library: The Biology of Belief and Spontaneous Evolution. Joseph Jaworski has penned an inspiring read called Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership. And, of course, anything by Rupert Sheldrake is worth reading.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com 

 In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

Entrance to the home of Rod and Margie Davies

Entrance to the property of Rod and Margie Davies

The walk we took on September 10th carried us along Fern Flat Road to the home and pottery of Rod and Margie Davies. This couple have managed to sculpt out an enviable lifestyle in their beautiful rural location. They’ve raised two lovely daughters and their artistic pottery is available in galleries around the country. Over the years they’ve inspired others to take a chance and follow their creative passions.

It’s a restful road walk tracking a river and surrounded by green, often bush-clad hills. An appropriate choice considering all the rain we’ve had through the winter and early spring.

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They grow big pigs in the Far North

They grow big pigs in the Far North

 

 

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Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

2 Gold Stairs

On September 17th a group of us completed one of my favourite walks -The Golden Stairs. The Whangape Harbour has a wild quality to it that is difficult to describe. The narrow fiord-like entrance must have taken many a ship in days gone by. The reefs there look treacherous.

We have a sister-in-law who grew up in the inner reaches of the harbour. The children hopped on a boat to go to school. What food they didn’t grow themselves was supplemented with the bounty of the sea which was on their doorstep. They owned no car and got off the peninsula they called home on horseback at low tide.

According to Cilla (our sister-in-law, a Lunjevich, by the way) the population was much higher then (the 1950s and 1960s) than it is today.

The pictures for this post were taken by Don Hammond. Included is a scan of an old photo showing the saw mill on the harbour’s edge (south side). There is almost nothing remaining today to indicate that the mill ever existed.

The third week in September is recognized as the time to find the kowhai in bloom in this part of the Far North. That’s where the name ‘Golden Stairs’ originates. The track is largely overgrown but dates back to early Maori days. I once read a story in the local book Tail of the Fish that described the pursuit of a Maori warrior across the Golden Stairs.

I trust you enjoy Don’s compiled photos as much as we enjoyed the walk. 

4 Gold Stairs3 Gold Stairs1. Whangape History

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives andBeyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com  In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

Would you expect your motor vehicle to serve you well if you didn’t service it regularly? Can you expect your body to serve you well if you don’t give it the care and attention it requires?

Spring is upon us here in New Zealand. Traditionally in Europe this would be the time for a cleanse. For those individuals herbally inclined this would be time to reach for stinging nettles (with gloves of course) or dandelions. Here in Aotearoa one can indulge the body with the native tonics of kumarahou and/or kawakawa?

liver-transplant-needed-or-liver-cleanse-3-1024x768Contrary to a recent sensationalized cover of The Listener—‘So, liver detox is just a gland wagon!’—there are ways to cleanse and rejuvenate the body naturally and they don’t have to cost the earth.

I recently completed a simple liver detox, just another of many I’ve undertaken over the years, All that was required was Epsom salt, organic lemons, grapefruits and olive oil together with as much fresh-squeezed apple juice as I had the time and inclination to make.

Why would one cleanse their liver? Well frankly, cleaning the liver bile ducts is possibly the most powerful procedure you can do to improve your health.

It is the job of the liver to make 2-3 pints of bile a day. The liver is full of tubes that deliver the bile to one large tube, the bile duct. The gallbladder is attached to this as a storage space. Eating fat or protein triggers the gallbladder to squeeze itself empty in order to help digestion. The stored bile starts to travel through the bile duct down to the intestines.

For many people, the biliary tubing is choked with gallstones. Most people have hundreds, if not thousands of these stones of various sizes.

As the stones grow, the back-pressure on the liver causes it to make less bile which can cause indigestion, nausea, headaches, joint pain and high cholesterol levels, to name but a few symptoms.

This liver detox takes eight days to complete. The first six days are business as usual. On the seventh day you cannot eat or drink after 2pm aside from the glasses of Epsom salts with water or juice the procedure requires. On the eighth morning and afternoon you don’t want to be far from a toilet. It is then that you see the results of your efforts in the toilet bowl (if you’re eating now you might like to put the newspaper down and come back to this later)!

You’ll have passed many green ‘stones’ ranging from the almost invisible to pea-size. This last cleanse I even found a couple stones resembling almonds. Finally, on the morning of the ninth day the pièce de résistance: one stone the size of my little finger. Yeah! Better out than in! The abdominal cramping I had been experiencing suddenly vanished.

For those unable to use grapefruit due to its incompatibility with prescribed medication, lemon can be substituted. You are advised to consult your physician before attempting a detox such as this.

The instructions for this cleanse can be found on my website at: https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2009/08/08/how-to-complete-a-liver-gallbladder-flush-safely-at-home/

You may also wish to investigate my post on dissolving arterial plaque using lemon and garlic: https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2013/11/02/garlic-and-lemons-dissolving-plaque/

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/ 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

 

Making a Difference

There’s a sign near the road on a rural property between where I live and where I work. It says simply: ‘It matters to me. God’ Doesn’t that say it all?

The following post is my latest column published this week in The Northland Age. I trust you derive inspiration from it. Please feel free to share. I was told by a man I’d nver met before today that someone at his place of work had cut out the column from the newspaper, laminated it and put it in their lunch room. I must say it is gratifying to know that what one writes does inspire others. Here it is:

In the nineteenth century, a tourist from the United States visited the famous Polish rabbi Hofetz Chaim. He was astonished to see that the rabbi’s house was only a single room filled with books. The only furniture was a table and a bench.

“Rabbi, where is your furniture?” asked the tourist.

“Where is yours?” asked Hofetz.

“Mine? But I’m passing through. I’m only a visitor here.”

And the rabbi answered, “So am I.”

The above story is adapted from The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello. I find it particularly apt at this time. In the Western world many crave greater and greater luxury. In China, India and other Eastern lands the masses are rapidly growing materially.

But I wonder if it would not be valuable to observe the example of Hofetz Chaim. Although we’ve all grown up with the expression ‘You can’t take it with you’ we still seem hell bent on accumulating more and more. We want the bigger house and the fancier vacation. Many still crave status and importance. Our consumer mantra would seem to be: If enough is enough then more is better.

But aren’t we just passing through? Is there any guarantee that having more things will bring us greater and more lasting happiness? We all know that’s not the case. So why the urge for more?

Perhaps we should lean towards making a difference in the lives of others, as so many volunteers are already doing. The feeling of satisfaction we get from a random act of kindness is, arguably, something we can take with us.

StarfishI’m reminded of the story of the man living on a long and isolated beach. The beach was subjected to extreme weather so no one else chose to live there.

One night there was a tremendous storm—the worst the man could remember. Sound familiar? The storm had washed up countless starfish and the man was amazed to see many were still alive. So he bent down and picked one up and heaved it into the sea. He did the same for the next, and the next.

When he stood up to stretch his back he saw a runner approaching. The man returned to his task.

The runner came up to him, stopped and said, “What are you thinking? The beach is absolutely littered with starfish—you cannot possibly save them all. What you are doing is not going to make a difference.”

The man lifted his head as he picked up another starfish and said, “It makes a difference to this one.”

There are so many ways we can each make a difference. There are so many who can benefit from our help. There are 7 billion people in the world today. Each of us need only do our little bit. It does make a difference.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

My thanks to George and Pauline for the beautiful photos from a walk we all agreed was a highlight of this year’s walking. It’s a long drive to Cape Reinga from whence this walk began and it was blustery and cool at the beginning. But before the day was out I’d had a couple of dips in the sea and waded in a creek to keep cool. The landscape is extraordinarily varied and there is a sense of being away from it all in this, the very north of the country. I trust you enjoy the photos of which I’ve only chosen to show a few. The complete album can be found here:  https://picasaweb.google.com/109798694876493156288/CapeMariaVanDiemenWalk

Cape Reinga. The meeting of two oceans.

Cape Reinga. The meeting of two oceans.

Ready to begin

Ready to begin: our destination is behind us in the distance.

For your information

For your information

Near beginning

Near beginning: Te Werahi below

Flax readying to bloom

Flax readying to bloom

Two Johns by the steep early cliffs

Two Johns by the steep early cliffs

Relentless seas.

Relentless seas.

Alma, John and Tom on the long stretch of Te Werahi. It's warming up!

Alma, John and Tom on the long stretch of Te Werahi. It’s warming up!

The climb up from Te Werahi

The climb up from Te Werahi

Flax Snails

Flax Snails

Dunes down to the beach below Cape Maria van Diemen

Dunes down to the beach below Cape Maria van Diemen

Stunning landscape.

Stunning landscape. Looking out to Motuopao Island

Skyscape

Skyscape

Windswept formations.

Windswept formations.

A dip at midday.

A dip at midday.

Cape Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse

Cape Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse

It is a working lighthouse.

It is a working lighthouse.

Motuopao. Where the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper used to be.

Motuopao. Where the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper used to be. Note treacherous currents.

Creek arriving at the sea.

Creek arriving at the sea. We followed it up.

Down the dune

Down the dune: It’s a sudden stop at the end.

George coming safely down the steep dune.

George coming safely down the steep dune.

Windswept formations

Two steps up and one step back.

Some of the crew enjoying ice cream at Te Paki.

Some of the crew enjoying ice cream at Te Kao. A just reward for a long day.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives andBeyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com  In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

As I indicated in my previous post I get back to the Wairakau Stream track and Lane Cove whenever possible. I did so again today and saw Shining Cuckoos for the first time. I have heard them on more than one occasion on this walk but today for the first time three birds came within two metres of me when I stopped to rest in low regrowth scrub. They were more vividly coloured than I expected with emerald green backs.

Shining Cuckoo photograph by Duncan Watson, sourced from http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz

Shining Cuckoo photograph by Duncan Watson, sourced from http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz

 

Here’s the distinctive song of the cuckoo:

Tomtits are regularly seen on this walk and today was no exception.

Tomtit

Tomtit

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella

Today’s walk followed several days of heavy rain. the creeks were high and after following a small group of rosellas on the side of Duke’s Nose I surprised two bathing in a swollen creek. This migrant from Australia has naturalized and is such a beautifully coloured bird. Who wouldn’t like them?

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101