Sometimes in life, we find ourselves fortunate enough to be surrounded by so much beauty that we can feel a bit like we are drowning. In these moments, we need a dose of wisdom, an aid in context that allows us to grasp it all at once, to properly honor it, to put it into perspective.
Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koutou me he maunga teitei.— Maori blessing
Pursue that which is most precious. If you should bow down, let it only be to a lofty mountain
And so it has been with our experience in New Zealand. Breathtaking moments, sweeping landscapes, pure adventure — the word abundance doesn’t quite do it all justice.
Then we heard the words above.
Shilo, a young leader in the Maori community, offered them during a traditional Maori welcome at a Marae (a Maori meeting house) just outside the town of Rotorua. He was a relatively young man dressed informally, but he exuded wisdom beyond his years. His words — in both Maori and English — were beautiful, softly powerful and devoid of cliche.
Shilo's words poetically cut to the quick — of why we do what we do, why we are in New Zealand, and how life has conspired to bring us to this place, among these people, at this moment.
I live. In particular, I live for these moments, where just a few words are cast before us in a way that captures the fullness of life in a fleeting moment.
“Pursue that which is most precious. If you should bow down, let it only be to a lofty mountain.”