Looking to the skies and welcoming in the new year
The Hubble has been recording the universe for 28 years and on terra firma we get a ringside view of the pictures it sends back.
The universe is beautiful and awe inspiring and raises questions about this infinitesimally small pale blue dot called Earth floating among the stars and planets. And here on Earth we’re still looking skyward as we enter Ma¯ ori New Year, Matariki or Puanga.
It’s a time to farewell the past, welcome the new and study the stars that define this time.
There’s something invigorating getting up before dawn to gather by the awa or on Mt Ruapehu to honour this time in ritual. All ethnicities celebrate their cultural rituals and Matariki/Puanga has now become an important time in the calendar throughout the motu/ country.
There’s discussion, a wager even by one columnist, that Matariki will be a national holiday in five years time. I’m not in favour of replacing the Queen’s Birthday holiday with Matariki but celebrating both days. Winter fatigue could set in and another long weekend could be just what we need to recharge.
Of course it would put deadline pressure on us in the print media. But who are we to spoil the fun.
I attended a Women’s Nichiren Daishonin Buddhist conference at the weekend.
It was at Samuel Marsden College in Karori, and we welcomed the all-girls’ school which has gender-neutral toilets. The preschool is co-ed as is its high school campus in Whitby. The weekend’s kaupapa was about hope and happiness. The experiences shared by the women and the obstacles each has had to overcome were and always are astounding. These obstacles are more than the everyday matters we have to contend with. They are personally universe adjusting. And happiness? That comes when we break through the obstacles; that’s the hope that we know we will overcome the obstacles that life throws at us.