I woke to find 30 strangers in my arms
They flitter, not-so-furtively
And I said What Gives?
I've never been so confused in all my 100 years...
So might begin a poem written by the ancient plum tree in our garden. And it's no exaggeration. No feat of fiction. No poetic licence.
It (the tree) was planted here in 1921. And yes, yesterday there were 30 tauhou silvereyes feasting on the nectar and pollen of its unseasonably out-of-time blossoms – delicious no doubt, and an unexpected treat. I have never seen so many tauhou together in one pace at one time. A veritable convention of celebratory song. But is it?
For yeah, to repeat the words of the lovely old tree; What gives? It’s May now, in case you noticed. And the seasons should be turning as they should. It should be getting cold. The days are certainly getting shorter. But…. But our venerable tree has is Khairos time all screwed up, the kind of natural time that has served it so well for a seamless century – and it’s putting out fresh new leaves and bright white blossoms.
In some ways, some people might like the thought. Hey! We’re heading into Spring! No need to wait. Who cares? This way, we need not fly to the other hemisphere to soak up some sunshine rays in this our-Winter, their-Summer. Let’s just have our-Summer all year round. Cool. Plums for all!
But there’s a reason, I imagine why blossoms in May are not the usual order of things. Yes, they are strangers too in our garden right now. It may be someone’s divine plan. It may be just well-deserved time off for creaky old trees. It may be just how things should be. For the seasons are as much markers of time as they are the very foundations to the natural order of things. Beyond the speculated reasons above, they are there to hold us, to help us, to nurture us in the sustaining embrace of Papatuanuku. This is good. This is how things should be.
No, I don’t want to be churlish to the tauhou. They were just taking the gift offered, with all the bright cheerfulness they’re so much loved for. Good on therm. They can never be strangers in our garden, anytime – even though they initially introduced themselves, oh, about 200 years ago.
What should be strangers in our arms, though, I reckon are the thoughts that this is all well and good. For these white blossoms are flags of a wider surrender on our part. That we cannot fix what we have broke.
So let us do our bit to get Papatuanuku’s wider world of beauty and order and interconnectedness into its own regular rhythms again. To what was right before. We can do this.