Maori (New Zealand’s indigenous peoples) have a concept Turangawaewae.
Tūrangawaewae is one of the most well-known and powerful Māori concepts. Literally tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet), it is often translated as ‘a place to stand’. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. They are our foundation, our place in the world, our home.
Since the death of both my parents and now more recently the death of my brother, the place of my first months of life has increasingly become my Turangawaewae.
On a recent visit to Greytown, Wairarapa I went down River Road that leads from the house I lived in to the banks of the Waiohine River.
The river was grey-blue and running reasonably fast due to rain falling in the nearby mountains.
The trees on the banks were in autumn colours but the white light and heavy cloud dimmed those on this visit.
My mountain was somewhere amidst these mists.
The rain was falling steadily but it was a time to pause and reflect, to absorb the feelings of connection, and foundation.
A place to draw strength from this land beneath my feet and then continue along my life’s road.