Book of blessings a guide for hard times
Sitting on a rock in Karitane Beach near Dunedin is where Emma Farry's book Beloved came to life.
The resident of Muriwai on Auckland's west coast said the rock was her "touchstone" while she was dealing with the death of her mother.
Her mother, an "amazing soul" she said lived to serve others, died from ovarian cancer in 2013.
So this place she sat, in Dunedin, became Farry's rock.
It was a grounding place or turangawaewae, she said.
"It was kind of my solace."
The author said she went there, even in the hail, to meditate, think and cry.
The 47-year-old said she would watch the tides go in and out, always moving, and the still point just before it came in again.
She would sit with that "peaceful spot", even though her life was tumultuous.
Farry said the rock gave her as much as a person in terms of solace.
It was like a friend, silent, and accepting.
She started to love rocks and began collecting them which she now sold as "soul stones" carved with words.
The author said she began taking photos because she was "falling in love" with nature.
She wanted the book to be a practical guide and comfort for people dealing with loss, grief or change.
She also wanted it to bring "calming energy" to others and could "meet" people where they were.
It was about acknowledging it's OK to not be OK, and that having the vulnerability, grief and sadness was universal.
She said her journey helped her realise her mother was "inside" her.
"I knew I had to learn something from it."
Go to emmafarry.com for more information about the author.