The phone rang – it was a dear friend inviting me for the weekend to Waiheke Island. Quite spontaneously, I decided to pack and go.It was a gloriously warm, summer’s day.The 35-minute ferry trip provided some wonderful variegated snapshots of the changing seascape. In the bright sun, the water was simply gleaming – a palate of shades of aqua and turquoise, dancing in merriment.The harbour was teeming with Aucklanders in their boats; fishing, sailing or just cruising. Even the different bays on Waiheke looked like little colonies with all the visiting boats berthed closely.It had to be one of the hottest days in Auckland, the temperature even a few degrees higher on the island.
My friend, Mikhaela’s home was like being at a retreat.Set in the less inhabited and quieter part of the island in a lush bush setting, it had all the peace and tranquillity of a monastery.We had simple but nourishing food, walked on the beach, visited the local market, sampled the works of the artisans, had deep and meaningful conversations about our different and yet similar sense of calling, and engaged in some serious laughter.I was reminded, yet again, of the joy and pleasure to be derived from the simple things in life including those souls who we really connect with and are gifted to call our friends. In our busy lives, it is easy to get caught up in the rat race and neglect what is truly joyful, precious and nurturing for our souls. So here is a reflective question for you, “what are you doing to nourish your soul today?”
As we said goodbye, we promised not to leave it for another year before I returned.It had been a nourishing and rich time for both of us and another milestone in our enduring friendship. On the trip back, I felt replete as I let the cool of the ocean spray wash away any vestige of old thinking. Like a butterfly, I emerged from the chrysalis and was ready to fly.
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God, because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.