Let us listen
to the Song of the Water
for we are the Water
and the Water is us.
Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Kawaakari (n.). Jap.
The gleam of last light on a river’s surface at dusk; the glow of a river in the darkness.
No man steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man.
Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.
You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
– Rabindranath Tagore
What is harder than rock, or softer than water?
Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere.
The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.
– Tao Te Ching
The river makes its way from its source,deep underground in the mountains, and journeys to its death and rebirth in the Ocean. Join the archetypal journey here.
A traveller’s journal from the river, containing musings and reflections, of people met, memories recalled, and the wonderful interface between the world seen and the world experienced. Read more here.
Sometimes deep conversations will take time for their truth to emerge, by which time the river has taken the speakers far apart. Then a letter is necessary. Read more here.
There is much to be learned from the Water and from the River. Spending time at the confluences, where the tributaries of tradition join the main current can yield valuable learnings. You can read more here.
Te Whakatauki a Nukutāwhiti
Kau ki te tai e kau ki te tai e kau ra e Tāne
Wahi atu ra te ngaru hukahuka o Marerei – ao
Aupiki atu te aurere kura o Taotaorangi
Tapataparuru ana te kakau o te hoe
E au heke ana, e tara tutu ana I te huka o Tangaroa
Ka titiro ahau ki te pae o uta, ki te pae o waho
Piki tu Rangi ana te kakau ote hoe
Kumea te uru o Taku waka Ki runga ki te kiri waewae o Papatuanuku e takoto mai nei
Ki runga ki te uru Tapu a Tāne e tu nei
Whatiwhati rua ana te hoe a Poupoto
Tau ake ki te hoe na Kura – he Ariki whatumanawa
To manawa e Kura – ki toku manawa
Ka irihia – ka irihia ki Waionuku
Ka irihia – ka irihia ki Waiorangi
Ka whiti ahau ki te Whaiao ki te Ao marama
Tupu kerekere tupu Wanawana, e hara mai taku Toki
Haumi ee – Hui ee Taiki ee
The Whakatauki of Nukutāwhiti
This Ngāpuhi whakatauki tells of a dangerous and seemingly impossible journey by courageous Ngāpuhi explorers as they piloted their waka (ocean-going canoes) through turbulent waters into the safety of the Hokianga Harbour.
On seeing the boiling water at the entrance to the Harbour, Nukutāwhiti, the Captain of the Waka Ngātokimatawhaorua, asked his Tohunga (priests, chosen ones) to offer this incantation on their behalf, in order to calm the waters and allow them to cross the notorious sandbar of the Hokianga Harbour.
In many ways this whakatauki is a metaphor for our own life journey.
The work ahead will see some turbulence and perhaps there will be whitewater, – yet with powerful karakia (prayers) we will conquer adversity and continue our vision for Ngāpuhi as a nation.