I am so grateful for this poem for the holiday sent to me by Beverley, Osborn of Stewart Island / Rakiura, this first year that Matariki Day is a legal holiday.
I am an Autumn tree.
I was planted with love and have grown in nurturing soil.
I am old in years and weight of experience.
Forgive me when my searching roots have infringed on the nourishment of others.
Forgive me when the vitality of my leaf growth has deprived others of the sunlight they should have received.
Forgive me when my own concerns have blinded me to the needs of others.
Thank you for the strength that has sustained me through storms.
Thank you for prunings when I have over-reached.
Thank you that the sturdiness of my trunk and the spread of my branches have been able to provide comfort, support and happiness for others.
Thank you that I have been able to fruit and enable new lives.
Thank you for the joy of singing birds and the playfulness of fluttering wings among my branches
Thank you for the companionship of other trees and the entwining of our roots.
All my life I have leaned towards your light.
Now, in my Autumn years, may my changing leaves glow with your glory
And when they fall and nourish the earth,
may they be part of nurturing the colour and beauty of new life.
Matariki is a special occasion in the Aotearoa New Zealand calendar marking the start of the Māori New Year. This is the first year as a legal holiday for all people. Signified by the Matariki cluster of stars reappearing in the night sky, this is a time to reflect on the past year, celebrate the present, and plan for the year ahead.