Taheke, that place where the gigantic moon sits atop the trees and miniature pink roses grow wild on the dusty roadside where an old house called Mahuri stands waiting with her doors wide open for her children to come and tread quietly across her matted floor and stand in silent tribute to images of faces, known and unknown. Light a flickering candle to keep her warm, and whisper to each other in the night so the ghosts know it’s ok to come and lay down beside you to rest. Mahuri, the name of our ancient ancestress who gave her name to that old house, rests in the knowing, that the children and their children’s children of all those ghosts will hear, when the time is right, that call of waterfall, wind and their yearning soul to return to the safety beneath her flaxen petticoats, like seabirds finding shelter from the storm.
Dearest family in New Zealand: my son’s, my sisters, my brothers, and all our children and relations, thank you all for your love and support while I was at home. I arrived safely to our Ohio home after my beloved Jen picked me up from the airport. It was an uneventful journey after having left Auckland at 2.20pm on Thursday 30th March NZST and arriving 10.10pm Thursday 30th March EST — an exhausting, continuous schedule of travel. I know it’s confusing, but NZ is ahead of us by X amount of hours that I’m too tired to calculate.
TeRangapu Te Wera TeKorako, Mihingarangi TeKorako and Ani Ngaire Bottcher. Thank you all dear Waitaha Grandmothers for holding resolutely the Whispers of the Divine Voices of our Awakening Consciousness. There are many sacred names given to those Voices – that insight, but you all know of what it is that I speak, for surely whatever the final or true name might be, we are all connected to the universal culture of Humanity and the all encompassing, sacred land that is Papatuanuku, Mother Earth.
Thank you to the Waitaha Grandmothers Executive Council, for the way in which you conduct yourselves. I know that some of you are not drawn to the political gamesmanship and the exchanges that are sometimes required in your duties as Grandmothers. But you must all continue to work toward a much safer/cleaner environment by arguing for the protection of all waterways in New Zealand. You, and because of You, this particular issue of fighting to keep all of our waterways pristine, and in particular keeping those waterways out of the clutches of the new breed of “gold-diggers” whose shortsightedness should not be confused with “sound economic policy,” I give my heartfelt gratitude. Beloved Grandmothers, you all have a golden opportunity of being at the forefront for setting a template to the rest of the world of how NOT to destroy the hand that feeds you. Papatuanuku, Earth Mother is a source, not a resource.
Dearest Porohau and Patariki, my darling brothers, surely as a new day turns into another day and another, our Brynderwyn family of Ruka-TeKorako find ourselves with the covering of winter snow coloring our hair. I remember as a child waiting for the snow-colored covered heads of uncles, aunts, grannies and grandpas to walk amongst us at family gatherings, and having this rushing sense of safety that the mountains had arrived to protect us from the swirling winds of our small world. Those mountains we all found safety and wisdom in, have turned to dust, as they should, and now, we in turn have become them. I hope our children and grandchildren will in turn find a sense of security against the buffeting winds of change when we three surviving brothers have the pleasure of walking among them, as we did with our own mountains of heroes and heroines.
Thank you brother Milan Ruka for your steadfast and resolute courage and the personal sacrifices over all these years of kaitiakitanga/caretakership of our waterways in the face of bullish & bullying opposition; from those powerful self-interest groups like farmers who disregard Local Council Regulations and continue to allow their herds to go unchecked and unfenced to pollute our riverways and streams. Shame on you, weak Local Councils, you who set bylaws against littering yet refuse to do anything about the urine and excrement of cattle that continues to land into our waterways. Tena Koe i te Rangatira Millan. Kia Kaha, Kia Maia, Kia Manawanui.
Thank you our children, for your understanding, love and patience. May those Whispering Voices of your own Awakening be the guidance that will lead you all to fulfill your dreams and aspirations. The world is a better place for having you all here.
And finally, to my own Jenny Cowperthwaite Ruka. Sweetheart you make me who I am. I am a better person for having found you tucked away in our little village of Yellow Springs way back in 2000. I flunked math at school, but I still believe that; 1+1=1, your friendship and love prove that to me every day.
Raymond TeKorako Ruka
Son of Waitaha, the Ancient Matriarchal Nation of Peace.