Barbara, who is in her 80’s, left her home country with her husband in the 1950s. They lived in Australia for some years though decided to leave because of the oppressive heat. It took some time for Barbara, her husband, and their children to get to New Zealand. Reminiscing about this Barbara said, “We finally managed to get here and when I got off that plane I cried because it was so green, everything was so green!” After raising her children Barbara took up full time administrative work, which she continued until her husband suggested they move to a small town near Whakatāne to help their daughter and her family. After losing her husband, about seven years ago, Barbara moved into a new home in Whakatāne. A few years after that, and despite being an avid tramper and having always being fit and active, Barbara had a stroke. This left her feeling lonely and isolated until she connected with the Virtual Eastern Bay Villages and organizations such as the University of the Third Age (U3A). Barbara has been able to rebuild her life by joining these groups, and she now has activities on most days. She loves the games groups she attends and teaching these games to other members of the VEBV. Barbara, who is a founding member of the VEBV was drawn to the contemplative art workshop because she wanted to explore her creativity, initially through imagery she found in driftwood and rocks on her beach walks. 


This is me

I’m at the door, the stepping stones to the door,

is this the right door to open?

Should I open that door?

Climb that stepping stone, to another phase in my life?

Do I want to open that door?

I’ve so many doors, in my life.

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- Barbara


“How do I explain it? The mind can be working with you or against you, or what you think in that moment is like that little dot in your forehead.”


“I mean, there's so many emotions you can go through, you can be quiet, you can be happy, or sad, all the colours are the different emotions.”


“What is spirit, how can you describe spirit, where is spirit? To me there are different wavelengths, we’re on different wavelengths, yes.”


“I feel connected to the, to the earth. The roots are all connecting me to the earth. I feel safe, I feel safe, I just feel connected to the earth.”

My Power

Speaking of her Power Symbol Barbara said, “So try, don’t be afraid of trying something different. You've got the power to do it. You've got the power to do it - you can do these things.”

Pleasure &

Barbara spoke of the pleasure and strength she gains from reading, her garden and being in nature. While she can’t do the long tramps she used to do, she still regularly walks beside the ocean and in local parks.