I’ve had some deeply spiritual experiences in my life, but they never included meeting an elder, a wise woman or man. I often found the right book or information when I needed it on my journey of self-discovery but not until a couple of weeks ago had I had a truly magical encounter with another person.
For the past seven months most of my energy was focused on a new love relationship. I knew from the beginning that the relationship wasn’t going to be easy, but I was confident I could handle the upcoming challenges.
I made some significant changes in my life. I gave up my source of income in Canada and followed my sweetheart to New Zealand. New Zealand enchanted me with its beauty. The rolling hills, long sandy beaches, ocean swims, and hot spring soaks deeply nourished me. I thrive being in nature. Feeling the earth under my feet and the sky above me I feel connected to the source of life.
The relationship part had been very tumultuous and challenging. At some point I became aware that I was re-enacting some aspects of early childhood trauma. Having explored practices of self-regulation and having learned valuable lessons about healing of trauma through Peter Levine’s work I knew I was engaged in healing some deep and old wounds.
One evening after a relaxing day at a hot springs campground I was in the warm water of the pool the sun was setting and I saw an elderly woman trying to enter the pool. The water was to deep for her. Her feet couldn’t reach the ground and she couldn’t swim, that is what she told me. We effortlessly engaged in a conversation at the steps leading into the pool. I am an introvert and usually avoid talking to strangers but what she shared fascinated me and I felt deeply engaged. She told me about her family and background. Being Maori meant for her to be deeply connected to the land, to her extensive family and her ancestors. Her parents had four children of their own, she, being the oldest, and adopted 15 children into the family. Now those children had children and she enjoyed the multi generational and multicultural family life they shared.
Our conversation flowed and touched on the topic of race, racism, the sense of rootedness and belonging, and our purpose of being here on this earth. I told her about my children who have their roots in Nigeria and Germany and the problems that has created for them. In the end I told her about how I have struggled with the sense of not belonging. Having been born in 1961 out of wedlock and being separated from my mother after birth for 6 weeks, had a deep impact on me. Growing up with an alcoholic step father intensified those issues and I felt like living in a milky glass bubble. I was inside the bubble, imprisoned and isolated, life was out there for other people to engage with.
When I told this beautiful Maori woman about my struggle her face lit up with warmth and compassion. She reassured me that I am a precious gift for the earth and that I have a right to be here. That I can now leave this old wound behind me and move forward and that she wanted to give me a blessing in her language, Maori.
The two of us were sitting in the hot spring pool with other people around us, but it felt as if we were the only people present at this moment, deeply connected on a heart level and involved in a sacred ceremony.
She stood up and gave me her blessing in Maori. I couldn’t understand the words, but I could feel a gentle wave of compassion and healing washing over me. I was sitting in the water that came out of mother earth’s depth, hot and enriched with minerals. I could feel how special and sacred this moment was.
After a couple of minutes, the Maori grandmother finished her blessing and acknowledging that this was a very special encounter for both of us, she walked away with a smile and a wave of her hand to say good bye.
My life is changing now, I’m on my way to leave the relationship I was in, I’m on my way to leave beautiful, enchanting New Zealand and I’m on my way to fly to Germany to live with my family for the coming months.
But most of all I am on my way to walk differently on this earth, walk with a lighter, and more joyful heart. This encounter with the Maori grandmother has shown me that I was still suffering from an inner sense of homelessness. I have been on a healing journey for many years now, but deep-rooted issues show up in layers. When one level is addressed and healed a deeper aspect can show up to be addressed and healed.
I am deeply grateful for the blessing I got from the Maori grandmother and I feel deeply blessed to be on this journey we call life. May we all walk softly on mother earth. May we all live with a sense of belonging and worthiness.
May we all be at ease and at peace.