Before cuckoo was called 'Cuckoo'

Cuckoos have arrived here this week!  Their voices come out from wide green forest canopies and into me.  A low two note tone that I sometimes also hear when I play my wooden flute.


They seem to belong here in these woods, yet for half the year they live on the other side of the Sahara desert. 


Swallows are here too, just being themselves.  Chirrupping on the wire and swooping in figure of eights in a way that says, ‘we belong everywhere’.


It is easy to come to conclusions about why birds might migrate, but the intricacies of migration are still unknown...

I wonder about the moment cuckoo decides to leave for the big flight.  Does she consider the pros and cons, potential losses and gains, opportunities and risks?


We can feel the stress sometimes of making a decision - the mix of fear and longing.   Feeling too big or too small for all the possibilities.  Like there would only be one possibility of what is right and we had better make sure we pick that one!  It looks like thinking a lot could be the best way.


Though so often when we talk about making decisions words like guts and heart come out.  Or we sleep on it or say ‘it feels like the right thing to do’.  I wonder about that feeling, where it comes from and where it is felt in the body.  Is that the way cuckoo and swallow know when to fly?  A felt intelligence? 



Feeling clearly when and how to act and rest can help us to feel more friendly and peaceful.



In Yoga and meditation we can get in close to those places where the seeds of actions are sprouting.  Feeling movements before they become the type of  thoughts that churn around to the point where we feel torn apart or tied in knots!   


Being open to the possibility, also, that the irritation and discomfort of indecision can be part of a natural process of life moving though us and out the other side. 


Being in the potent place where inspiration transforms into creativity can feel strong.


Cuckoo’s song first sounded through forest before human ears were born.  Before there was a voice to say ‘cuckoo’, or to mimic her song with a flute.


When we come through a decision making process where we have followed our guts and our heart, we are singing our song loud and clear in a way that says ‘I belong’.



Garden food....

I've cooked up some Green Kuri Squash and made borage flower oil this week...

The two moments in the life of this squash that most stand out for me are the green shoot coming up through the soil a year ago, and cutting into it this week.

I made stuffed squash.


  • One small squash, like green kuri, butternut, sweet dumpling (I get my seeds from the seed co-operative).  
  • 1/3 cup of dry grain: quinoa, rice...
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
  • 1/2 a red pepper, chopped small
  • a few nuts, chopped,  I use cobb nuts from the tree in my garden
  • Something tangy like olives, feta or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Dried or fresh herbs of your choice.

1. Cut the top off the squash, Scoop out the seeds and replace the top like a lid.

2. Put the squash on a baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees.

3. Meanwhile, cook the grain, drain.

4. Drizzle olive oil on the peppers, put on a baking tray with the garlic cloves and roast for about 15 minutes in the oven.

5. Remove peppers and garlic from oven, cut the end off each garlic clove and squeeze the garlicky insides into the grain along with the peppers, chopped herbs, tangy element and nuts. 

6. Remove squash from oven and stuff with the grain mix.

7. Return squash to oven for another 15-20 minutes.

8.  Remove from the oven and either enjoy the whole feast yourself or cut in half from top to bottom and share!


Borage oil

Among a myriad of other healing properties, borage is a great for skin and stress!

I picked a couple of handfuls of flowers and a few leaves.  I tore up the leaves a bit then stuffed them all in a big jam jar.  I covered them with organic olive oil and squidged them about to release lots of air bubbles.  I topped up the oil and made sure the plants were totally covered. 

Keep the oil in a cool dark place for 6 weeks!  I plan to make an ointment later...


Write a comment

Comments: 1
  • #1

    louisa (Friday, 26 April 2019 22:26)

    Hi Frances
    So good to hear from you. I enjoyed your blog very much, poetic as ever. Emily Forrest was here yesterday, and were just saying how much we both missed you, so it was especially timely to get your message. I'm so delighted you will be doing some online yoga. I've never tried it before, but very happy to have a go. Put me down for 5 may, and hopefully I can join the 12th too.
    How wonderful to hear cuckoos. I was only thinking this morning that I haven't heard one for years. Glad they are flourishing where you are.
    Your squash recipe looks tasty, I shall definitely try it. But sadly we have recently finished the last of our crown princes.
    Spring here is wonderful. My bansiae rose is out, and Gertrude Jekyll is just emerging...
    love from Louisa x

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