Wairaka, the daughter of Toroa, captain of the Mataatua canoe, uttered the words “Me whakatāne au i ahau” (I must act like a man) when she saved the Mataatua after it came adrift.
I sat by the river today to listen and it spoke to me. This is what I heard it say:
“I am Swift, I am Strong, I am Free and these three define me: you, too, can be like me. Though today, I’m coloured from rain-soaked clay I don’t let this bother me. And you need to know that appearance doesn’t define me or you.
Swift because I am forging on Strong because I can carry anything along Free because I change seasonally.
Note: I’ve been who I am for a very long time and you need to learn to be like me. As waters run deep, so do the thoughts of the Soul. Though you be from the ‘dust of clay,’ your true-self\ *is in the likeness of Yah** (Let us make man in our likeness.)\ These attributes of mine can be yours, too.”**
I took to heart what the river was saying and reflected. Water is life-giving, for without it, there is\ no growth, no abundance of living creatures. No re-growth, no bursting of seed. From the Soul comes living water an abundance of “knowing” without doubt. Then Whakatāne spoke some more:
“Swift is my being; the state of a giving force Strong is my strength; to move things along Free is my ability; to explore a new course \ (to lay aside what is easiest.)
So, as your eyes have seen me today, I thank you for the pause, a time to contemplate the deep. Me being who I am and you moving on; wiser, having listened to my story, which I’ve carried for a very long time!”
Inspired while parked up rest area Taneatua Road, Whakatāne, looking at the Whakatāne River.
© stephen c douglas, 7th May 2023