On potting Flax and Aroha

This is a picture of me in a shed at Tauranga Historic Village, potting Karamu in my volunteer week with Kuaka. I am grinning like a mad man.

Kuaka New Zealand

Moi potting and being happy

The thing is, potting turns out to be an almost meditative activity. I usually avoid using the term, but working with my hands brought me into a happy flow. For someone like me, who can never stop the high-speed train of her thoughts, it was incredibly relaxing to just focus on the right amount of soil and the position of my Karamu’s roots. I also talked to my Karamus and Flaxes, so as to encourage them not to lose the will to live (I am not known for my green fingers), but instead to grow big and strong.

Turning Point Trust
The days I was at the Historic Village, I did not only get to work with Kuaka, but also with the people from the Turning Point Trust, and that was another reason for my state of flow.

Turning Point Trust provides a safe and supportive environment for people suffering from mental health problems and/or addictions. There are art programmes, sports programmes, community activities, computer courses, and most of Kuaka’s potting is done here at the Turning Point’s home base in Tauranga Historic Village. People can come here to learn new skills, to talk to someone, or just to be distracted from daily misery.

I had great fun here. I felt welcome, useful and had good company. One of the guys there at the Turning Point quit his job to work here. Not because he is depressed, but because his wife is. She comeshere to take part in Turning Point activities, and feels a lot more comfortable when her husband is around.

He taught me a lot more than just how to give a baby Karamu a good start in life.

aroha [ˈɑːrɒhə], Maori, noun: love, compassion, or affectionate regard

Read more about my eco experience here:

A most unlikely ecovolunteer

This post was originally posted at Fem op reis

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