Morning Karakia (Maori word for Prayer)
(Speaking to those gathered) The West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is a geographically dramatic sort of place with fantastic scenery. As one drives along its length, one passes through many areas where the strip of land between mountain and sea is very narrow. With mountains and cliffs in such close proximity, it’s not surprising that fossicking for stones in riverbeds and on the beaches is endlessly fascinating. The variety of colours and combinations and rock types is amazing and it’s awe inspiring also to think what life changes have happened to the coloured stones we can pick up and admire.
Once they were part of huge mountains. Those mountains have been subjected to volcanic and earthquake changes, to the grinding of tectonic plates, to the relentless winds and snows and rains and searing sunshine of thousands of years. They’ll have experienced ice ages been buried in glaciers, been gouged and broken by swift flowing rivers and voluminous waterfalls and they’ll have been subjected to the enormous pressures that meld different kinds of stone together. Great chunks will have broken off and gone bouncing down cliffs and, gradually, smaller and smaller stones will have become separate entities, tumbled in rivers, washed by sea, hurled about in water, scoured by sand and wind.
When we hold a stone in our hands, we hold the most enormous history and seldom realize how precious an article we see and feel. I think it’s a bit the same with humans. In the beginning, we are taught there was God – the creative spirit, the essence of love –whatever name sits comfortably for you. In the beginning was God and all creation comes from that one life source. Everything that is must, therefore, be part of that energy, that essence, changed and shaped by many circumstances over millions of years. When we look at a human being and reach out to touch, there, too, we should sense the most enormous history and the preciousness of each individual.
Choose a stone now, hold it in your hand, look at it, feel it, respect it, be awed by it – and then think of yourself – all that has gone into the making of you as the capable, special person you are. When you are done wondering and being awed and grateful, look round at your companions in this room and be thankful for all that has gone into making them the gifted, knowledgeable, caring people they are, people who have honed and polished skills.
Take your stones home and hold them sometimes if you’re feeling a bit low. Remember how special they are, what they’ve endured to become what they are, and how special you and all human beings are – and be thankful.
– Beverley Osborn
Photo credit. Maria Mankin Text. From the Psalms to the Cloud — Connecting to the Digital Age, Mankin and Tirabassi