Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koutou me he maunga teitei.
Pursue that which is most precious. If you should bow down, let it only be to a lofty mountain
— Maori blessing
Sometimes in life, we find ourselves fortunate enough to be surrounded by so much beauty that we can feel a bit like we are drowning. In these moments, we need a dose of wisdom, an aid in context that allows us to grasp it all at once, to properly honor it, to put it into perspective.
Beauty aloft: The Emerald Lakes — Mount Tongariro, New Zealand
And so it has been with our experience in New Zealand. Breathtaking moments, sweeping landscapes, pure adventure — the word abundance doesn’t quite do it all justice.
Then we heard the words above. Shilo, a young leader in the Maori community, offered them during a traditional Maori welcome at a Marae (a Maori meeting house) just outside the town of Rotorua. He was a relatively young man dressed informally, but he exuded wisdom beyond his years. His words — in both Maori and English — were beautiful, softly powerful and devoid of cliche.
Shilo’s words poetically cut to the quick — of why we do what we do, why we are in New Zealand, and how life has conspired to bring us to this place, among these people, at this moment.
I live. In particular, I live for these moments, where just a few words are cast before us in a way that captures the fullness of life in a fleeting moment.
“Pursue that which is most precious. If you should bow down, let it only be to a lofty mountain.”
Disclosure: Our New Zealand Encompassed Tour is provided by G Adventures in cooperation with its Wanderers in Residence program. Our flights are kindly sponsored by Air New Zealand. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely our own.