Kia ora e hoa,
Warmest greetings from the Pied Stilts and Wry Bills, the Poaka and Ngutuparore, the migrating birds that fly North for the winter and return to the South Island to enjoy the summer.
So it’s spring and we are in the South again. Back to Castle Hill Village but without the camper! We left it in Whakatane, awaiting the arrival of its still to be discovered new owner. Another change! Another opportunity to re-invent ourselves!
The hard trails
We keep meeting people who are having a hard time to house and feed their children, pay the rent or service their mortgage. We see their courage and commitment to hold on and succeed. Words don’t solve their need but sometimes they help lift our focus. So I turn to something I wrote in Song of the Circle.
Even the darkness brings learning to the light.
The balance is torn apart
But a wondrous new garment
May be woven in the mending.
Hope walks tall into tomorrow.
So be it.
An old one once told me hope isn’t enough! I felt his anguish and despair. He feared for his grandchildren and revealed it in his tears. Ae, there has to be more but hope is the flame we need to feed the fire inside.
Out of hope we weave the dream that allows the spirit within to survive and thrive. It makes room for the love of family and friends, the nurture we need to pull us back from the darkness of despair.
Humankind have traversed an amazing sequence of frontiers over millions of years. This age, this time, stretches the mind in remarkable ways. Knowing we can send a vehicle to the stars to travel millions upon millions of kilometres to land on a rock hurtling through space, astounds me.
We are opening frontiers into exciting realms. And for me it’s the frontier of consciousness, the power of the mind and heart that opens wonderful pathways into the future. It probes the essence of our humanity, the core we need to nurture and honour if we are to heal our planet and our people.
An Elder Speaks
In 1992, when Grandfather Titus of the Hopi Nation in Arizona said to me, “We have reached the fork in the trail of life,” he was sharing their sacred prophecy carved into a rock-face some four thousand years ago.
“There are two paths now.” Titus pointed to the jagged fork cut deep into the stone that descended in a jagged, zigzag line which ended abruptly. “That is a very bad trail! There everything will finish. The sacred hoop will break beyond mending. I feared it was to be the one.”
Then he pointed again to the parting of the way, to a sweeping cut that rose smoothly as if transcending time. “This is the upper trail. It is the trail of the one-hearted people, the trail of truth and love.” Then his voice grew stronger and he cried, “We can win! We are winning! There are enough one-hearted people! The evil in the world is devouring itself!”
Titus explained the “evil” as those who pollute the land, those who bring sickness to the waters and steal the clear skies, those who rape the earth, the violent ones who kill, and those who deal in lies. Now he smiled. His eyes were afire: he was buoyant and filled with the joy of life. There was hope!
As the day closed I tried to prepare myself for the parting. I felt Titus and I would not meet again. His 112 years sat heavily upon him and I was soon to cross the ocean to my home so far away.
Grandfather called me to him. Roy, his young carer, placed a freshly worked piece of wood in the old one’s hand and said…
“As soon as you left to travel the circle to the Twelve Nations, Grandfather sent me to get a piece of ocotillo wood. Each day he scraped and shaped it. It is his gift to you. It is the snake stick of the Hopi people, a talking stick of power. It searches for the truth to bring change and healing. He asks you to carry the snake for the Hopi Nation and the families of the people of peace. It is your companion on the trails.”
Then the old one said with great feeling…
“Do not be angry! If others send arrows at you, do not be angry! No matter what they say, do not be angry! Do everything with love. Send only love to those who send you pain!”
Our leave-taking was difficult. I embraced the old one and our tears mingled to bless the snake stick. Words were now of no moment. No “goodbyes” were uttered. The door was left open for the new days to come.
The future is in our hands…
Compassion is the way forward:
The frontier where heart and mind join
To honour the spirit of all.
Good stuff is happening out there!
It’s time to close this note to all who share. Remember, again and again we meet people who sow seeds of hope, and you talk and walk with them. For those who choose to explore this further I highly recommend the three carefully researched and beautifully filmed documentaries that share some remarkable insights into the deeper, older history of Aotearoa/New Zealand. www.plummtreeproductions.com
1. Cousins Across the Sea
2. Skeletons in the Closet: Part One – The Redheads.
Part Two – Under the carpet
And I humbly suggest looking at Mark Lapwood’s documentary film, a work in progress, which has, and continues to involve the Tuhoe Elder, Rose Pere, myself, and others. I have put hours of story telling into it. However, it needs others to gather to it to bring it to air.
If per chance you think you might be the one waiting to get behind the wheel of our much loved eight-metre long mobile home it can be contacted at https://www.coastalmotorhomes.co.nz/used-rvs/used-motorhomes/trail-lite-landmark-oakura-isuzu
Journey well and may the force be with you. Whatever the force means for you!
Arohanui from Barry and Cushla.
We received an inquiry via our website from Rusty, Nga Wairiki – Ngati Apa. Unfortunately Barry’s response bounced back undelivered. Could anyone who thinks they may know Rusty please ask him to contact Barry directly at [email protected].