Mokopuna and Matariki
Our mokopuna (grandchildren) are so busy these days with seemingly only enough time to look ahead or down, often as they seek information, affirmation, entertainment or enlightenment. Meanwhile their elders have knowledge that they sometimes cannot find an audience for.
Just a few decades ago we all existed in a slower time, a time when commuting often meant just walking down the road or across it; where evenings and weekends gave us lots of time for relationships and for interests like reading, music and gardening. We developed patience and diligence in tune with the seasons particular to the areas where we lived. We spent time watching and listening to our elders and so through time and repetition we developed a deep understanding of how things worked.
Celebrating Matariki as a family is an opportunity to find or rediscover things about who we are and how we connect to the earth. Our mokopuna may be reflections of us, but do they have the same inclination to look up?
Through time, the stars have been essential for navigation and the progress of the seasons. Looking up was essential. Traversing the great Pacific Ocean required substantial knowledge of the stars. The passing down of such knowledge ensured the success of the next generations.
The appearance of Matariki during the dark winter months gives certainty to the coming of longer days and a new cycle of growth. It is a time for rest, and a time to think.
The knowledge of what to plant and when to harvest has great value. Much of its value lies in the sharing and teaching through place and time, quite literally in our own backyards.
Matariki is a time to look up, and to pass down knowledge. In a century where instant gratification rules, it’s nice to share things that take time.
- Niki Partsch