For those that may not have had a chance to observe the morphing cosmic wonderland that is the garden at 18 Rose St, (without wanting to turn Rose Street into a main thoroughfare), it is definitely worthy of a drive-by. Take the kids.
Thirteen years ago doctors gave Lynette Limmer, owner of 18 Rose St, a couple of weeks to live. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she moved out to Raglan — ostensibly to die, but Lyn had other ideas. Many years later, Lyn is defying predictions, not only is she bouncing fit but is also the curator of the aforementioned garden. Crediting spiritual and positive thoughts for her recovery, Lyn reflects on her decisions to move to Raglan — never doubting that she wouldn’t heal. For Lyn, Raglan is a sanctuary and her wellbeing is a testament to that.
I first met Lyn when I lived down the road at no. 26. I would watch her daily walk down to the wharf to fish for kawahai, gurnard and trevally to feed her menagerie of pets — most of them strays that had found their own way to no. 18. This may be a natural progression from serving three terms as a councillor for the Morrinsville Council, where Lyn volunteered for welfare, “as it was called in those days,” to intervene in cases of child abuse and neglect. Lyn has a big heart especially when it comes to the unloved. Which is how the eclectic collection of paraphernalia found second or third lives suspended from the wattle tree in her front garden.
“You know you just go up there to the dump, or do we call it ‘recycle centre’, and there is all this waste. Nothing is made to last or to be loved long term, it’s a disgrace, we live in such a disposable dispensable world. A throw-away society.”
Lyn has seen a lot of changes; it certainly hasn’t been boring, she says. “How can you be bored surrounded by such beauty, I mean look at that view.” On her many walks over the years, always the collector, she has found a bounty of treasure washed up on the beach, including crockery from the original hotel in Bow Street, flotsam and jetsam off ships. Some of these have found their way to our local museum.
Lyn also stresses that the wharf fire affected the life force of what is essentially her backyard.
“Especially since the fire. The young families are leaving, I mean in this street alone, there are many holiday homes empty for most of the year. Maybe that’s where all the strays come from, abandoned you know. It’s just sad to see the houses empty when there are so many local families looking for long-term rentals.”
Asked about her miraculous recovery, Lyn says, “I believed, truly believed I could heal myself with help from the spirit world. She makes no bones that if it’s your time it’s your time, she was simply told it wasn’t hers. Lyn considers herself spiritual albeit not in the conventional sense. She views the current downslide of the world economy as part of a loss of humility and rise in individualism. A possible solution would be to exit the capital driven model that we exist within and revert back to the barter system, community-to-community, neighbour-to-neighbour.
“Well look at the Atlanteans,” Lyn points out. We too are merely the keepers aren’t we? Future life forces may look back and wonder if we ever existed or were we an elaborate construct of the technology we are so in favour of? The only legacy we should leave is this planet — whole.
“You know,” says Lyn, hitting me with startling blue eyes that I’m sure have not missed one beat in I dare not say how many years, “it’s like Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”
And does the garden have a name? ”Yes, ‘serendipity’, magic to all those who believe”.