My ancestors are Maori, Irish, English and French.
Ancient traditions of the Maori allowed me to meet with many indigenous peoples including the Aboriginal. My great grandmother, Irihapeti Taki was a Maori princess and came from the honored Taki lineage, which came on the Takitimu canoe from Maui, Hawaii to New Zealand. They were vegetarians because the chief traveled on that canoe.
I met with one of my people, a Maori shaman, who could tell the weather by looking at a plant’s leaves and tendrils. One cloudless day he told me it was going to rain in ten minutes. He showed me how a particular leaf was bending in, ready to accept the water droplets when they came. Sure enough, ten minutes later, a small cloud passed overhead and it rained.
When I was with an Aboriginal friend of mine in Australia, a didgeridoo prodigy who could make the instrument sound like logging trucks passing through a forest, he told me about the Aboriginal songlines.
The traditional Aborigine in Australia follow “Songlines” wherever they walk: notes and melodies to sing depending on where they’re walking, each place they step having a part of a song that they all know. While their songlines relate to place, you can also explore your songline through the songs important to you at various points in your life.
Maybe you’re driving your car when the song comes on the radio, and you remember being 19 again, driving alone down a blue highway in the middle of the night while belting out “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” with the radio so many years ago. Or maybe you’re pulling weeds, and you suddenly remember your grandmother singing “You Are My Sunshine.” We all have songs that mark moments throughout our lives, even encapsulating those moments into a wisp of a provocative lyric or long-held note.
Songs are part of so many cultures, marking “signatures” or signposts. Perhaps even the Peruvian Plains in Nazca “sing”.
In a particular East African Village, when a child is born, parents don’t count the “birth”day as the day the child enters the world – or even on the day the child is conceived; but rather from when that child is first a thought in her mother’s mind …
As soon as a mother realizes that she would like to have a child, she will go out & sit in a field under a tree, and she will listen – until she can hear the song of the child whom wants to be born in her heart … when she hears this song, she sings it to herself …
As she returns back to the village and teaches it to her partner, they conceive a child together – and they sing this song & invite this child to be born.
Later when this woman is pregnant, she sings this song to the child while in the womb; she teaches it to the midwives, so that when the child is born, the first song or sound that she hears is each of her family members & midwives gathered around, singing her own, unique song …
And after that, as the child grows, the people in the village learn the song of this child, so that when she falls and hurts herself, someone picks her up & sings her song to her… in rites of passage or spiritual rituals, the song is sung … at her wedding ceremony, both songs are sung … until finally even at the end of life, the song of this child, now as an elderly person, is sung for the last time as villagers gather around to pay their last respects .
Finding time for stillness, healing and silence in our lives, allows us the ability to hear the song within ourselves, and to be respectful of the song within those around us.
Entering into motherhood in a conscious and peaceful mindset initiates the process of raising conscious and balanced children who grow to learn balanced & effective coping mechanisms.
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