on the 26 January I wrote a prayer ……. a prayer for our past and our future.
26 January named australia day
aka invasion day
also a Friday 2018.
here’s the thing,
a public holiday
beach and bbqs
speeches and badges of honour handed out.
there is no turning back – that which was has passed and a moment unknown appears bright and shiny like a newly minted coin.
the kangaroo bounds across the paddocks not stopped by the fences, not stopped by the gates, only brought up short by bullet or car. It cannot go backwards and from this we can learn to call on this spirit energy to carry us forward into the moment empty of the past.
there is a story and it is told , of ships and captains, of maps and kingdoms, of long journeys over many seas.
imagine the joy of first discovery of land sighted, that smudge on the horizon fleshing into cliffs and sandy shores, into cormorants and sandpipers, into black faces and cooking fires. the story continued with ownership and slavery, with destruction disease and commerce, with lies and disrespect.
across the ditch by the 1930s the flax of aotearoa had been consumed by the needs of the british empire – for the maori peoples the humble flax plant had been clothes baskets houses sandals boats rope mats sails fishing nets rain capes backpacks as well as medicine as poultice purgative disinfectant and sweetener. this flax that sustained and made the world for a people who lived within the rivers and hills and trees, within the birds the creatures and songs had been taken from them.
these proud people had a strong culture dancing singing fighting laughing. the women carrying round-faced babies in flax wraps on their hips or backs, mixing dyes to paint symbols on clothing houses bodies, wrapping the kumara and yams into leaves and flax baskets to be placed in the deep fire pits and cooked over many hours. the strong muscled warrior men feet stomping with their fearsome tongue rolls carving the stories onto their meeting houses their clubs their canoes fishing hunting building tattooing.
old faces tattooed with their medicine story visible .
within each story lies another and another like the matrioska dolls like the layers of the skin of the onion.
so here’s the thing,
when we come together to hear the speeches we needs know there is another story another kernel another truth another offering that could serve us all better.
and on that particular friday, the 26 January aka australia day aka invasion day, I sat at a table on a sunny verandah writing with friends. surrounded by a garden of fruits and kindness the air humming with bird song and tree whispers, delighted by butterfly and snake and supported with lashings of cake and water kefir, I thought of my island home and I thought of this land my home and I thought of all that had brought me to here to this moment to this day ……
and on this day I know of love and deep kindness , of hearts soft with compassion and respect and so breathing gently into the old story of pain and colonisation we offered a prayer,
a prayer of heart-felt reconciliation
a prayer of healing
of living in this moment free of the past.
may this moment of love and kindness bring peace to the past and oneness into the future,
for the good of all.