Messages Written in Chalk

Multiple, mutual daily kindnesses carried out between humans and nature.

Bayfield Park, Otepoti, Dunedin. People not inside in front of screens, but out enjoying the Summer twilight.
Walking the dog, taking a stroll
Playing an informal, social game of cricket …
Mysterious pink tree …
Growing on our property, but we haven’t a clue what tree this is … Farther to this: Liz Cowburn (her blog is Exploring Colour ) has kindly informed me that it is a native Akeake or Dodonaea Viscosa, in the purple form. Even farther to this, research has informed me that the word Akeake in the Maori language, means ‘forever and ever’. I guess that means we won’t be cutting this tree down any time soon – not that we were contemplating that.
A close-up of its flowers
We have had a number of grey days this Summer
All my life I have lived with an unpredictable and unreliable climate and so tend to be realistic (this is not a tropical part of the world) and to roll with the punches. I appreciate whatever the weather – there is always something to savour. This day, this moment, will not come again.
Toetoe jibbing by the inlet
Setting sail into a misty Summer’s day
Bowing to the sky
In a previous post I highlighted the poetry a friend of mine distributes in the city. Here again, the poetry on benches by the inlet playground
The four (or five?) benches have a poem about eating a meat-and-three-veg. dinner from a child’s point of view
Bringing back the childhood memories I’m sure we all carry of times when we toyed with our food
Agapanthus-blue and city-grey
A chalk message pointing out the danger of a holly hedge. Ouch (or Oww) indeed. I wish more people wrote quirky chalk messages on our footpaths.

Chalk messages on footpaths reminds me of two Joni Mitchell cd’s I have …

Joni Mitchell chalking the outline of a small two-door car and then lying down beside it in the shape of a detective’s chalk outline of a body. One cd is called, Hits and the other, Misses. The songs that were popular sorted into Hits, and for Misses, less popular songs but ones which Joni still considers as among her favourites.

Bus stop hydrangeas pressed against the perspex.
Our neighbour’s sunflowers putting on their annual display
Always a welcome and cheery sight as we enter our long driveway
Back home, the star of our garden, soon to be joined …
by two and a half more, until …
… finally all six are on board. However …
… our prevailing, beastly nor’ easterly upped its velocity one night and damaged them all. I had to pick them and bring them indoors, the bonus of their sweet perfume the reward.

“The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days.”– Robert Leighton (1611 – 25 June 1684) was a Scottish prelate and scholar, best known as a church minister, Bishop of Dunblane, Archbishop of Glasgow.

To me, flowers are like gifts – eye catching wonders, from the humble lawn daisy to the exquisite orchid, our spirits cannot help but be lifted at the sight of them.

And trees.

And oceans.

And mountains.

I read somewhere recently that part of our job on this planet is to lend nature a hand. Sounds simple. Too easy.

We could count it as part of multiple, mutual daily kindnesses carried out between humans and nature. If more of us did this, a right balance would surely be created. And harmony and balance would follow. And you never know, maybe more quirky and helpful messages written in chalk on footpaths. Imagine that.


Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

3 thoughts on “Messages Written in Chalk

  1. You’re probably familiar with the green form of your mystery tree, our native akeake or Dodonaea viscosa but yours is the purple form. Some plants have very purple foliage, there was one by the highway in Papatowai that looked stunning in sunshine, gorgeous red-purple. The green trees have lime flowers. I love both forms!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Liz! Much appreciated as I had no idea. I do know the lime green variety. The flowers are kind of like crimped paper flowers. Sadly where our tree is situated there’s not much sun, so we don’t get to see it lit by sunshine. Still, it’s pretty anyway. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

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