Life in lockdown, Kiwi style

There is a Te Reo Māori word: Rāhui.

Rāhui is a sacred practice that follows the basic philosophy of protecting through prohibition. In essence, restrictions are placed on the land to allow it to restore itself. Restrictions are put in place to allow for regeneration, nurturing, and spiritual well-being. Many of us have embraced this philosophy seeing lockdown as a time to pause, breathe, refresh and renew.
I find myself in a privileged position of being able to work from home. This saves me time on travel and because I live a considerable distance from town it is easy to self isolate. So, when Jacinda says “stay home” , it is easy for me.
In five weeks I have been to the supermarket twice…and it was the desire for fresh fruit and vegetables that was the driving force. Going into autumn I found my garden just not producing enough for us all. In the last two weeks however, the feijoas have begun to fall and today I picked the first few figs, so we now have an abundance of fresh fruit. We could have continued using frozen and tinned…but we didn’t.
That first trip into town was like an adventure, carefully planned: time of day, what I would wear, shopping list clear and in order.
Lining up in the car park was surreal, something out of a dystopian novel. Once inside however, shelves were stocked apart from flour and yeast…and business was as usual…wearing gloves and keeping a distance. Returning home, quietly celebrating because I found a 10kg sack of flour (at an undisclosed site), I wiped everything clean and put it away, noticing the shopping expedition had taken me 5 hours.
Jacinda, our Prime Minister is receiving a certain amount of flack as all politicians do, because she was over cautious, or didn’t act quickly enough, because the economy will suffer, or the future remains uncertain. No one knows what might have been if our period of Rāhui was longer or shorter, more severe or more relaxed we only know what is, and I felt very proud that in general our politicians weren’t using this time to fight their own political battle and instead pulled together as a country. Jacinda refers to us as our team of 5 million.
The leader of the opposition however is beginning the rumblings of criticism…and like I said, people are quick to criticize. Let them criticize if they choose, we are all entitled to our own opinion, but I have to say I am so impressed by the way our PM leads. In her short term in office she has been challenged by terrorism, natural disaster, and pandemic and has faced it all with unfaltering calm, humility and compassion.
We continue in Aotearoa at alert level 3, limiting how much we go out, keeping our bubble small, staying home as much as we can.
Things are very different and I suspect will never return to how they used to be. We have the opportunity to reflect on the good of the old ways and the good of the new ways and create an even better way forward, ideally with equity, compassion and a community and global view.
Kia kaha
He wake eke noa.
Go gently and be kind.
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