22 June 2020

A reflection on recent events including a lockdown and ongoing navigation of our “new normal.” Thoughts on the importance of human connection and love, written by one of our Kindy teachers at Creators Forest Lake.

“I would not have survived with out the connection and relationships I have with my peers, whnau and friends. The importance of connection through relationships is what us humans are about.”

 Our rahui, when we all got to stay home!

 Rāhui, rā =ban, restriction, hui= gathering, assembly. A ban or restriction temporarily put in place restricting access to, or use of an area or resource by the kaitiakitanga of the area. Let’s be kaitiaki/guardians of Papatūānuku/Mother Earth, honour her, protect her, protect (y)ourself/ves and uphold the spirit of Oneness. We are here to look after each other. -Dr Rangimarie Rose Pere

The rahui has allowed me to reconnect with the idea of love and it’s meaning.

Let me reflect and enlighten you. What this year has presented us with so far, no one could have prepared for. Short of taking a couple of weeks to realise that it's just ok to not be ok and to admit it has been a few tough weeks, how would one cope in a lock down alert level 4, having never experience it before? Then proceeding into level 3, 2 and now 1 we are learning a new normal and going about our day to day lives which are so different to that of even a few weeks ago. I would not have survived with out the connection and relationships I have with my peers, whnau and friends. The importance of connection through relationships is what us humans are about.

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 You see, love to me is mysterious. I understand it means different things to different people. Is love what you want it to be? (a great lyric by the way). I find myself asking. Define love? is it possible to define it? This virus and its presence in our world has definitely changed a lot for us all. It’s unsettling, it’s challenging. I think now more than ever we need to love each other unconditionally, without judgement.

I reflected a lot during my time at home, honestly more internally that externally. Can you love from a distance? Without physical touch? A squeeze, a hug, those cuddles that mean a one thousand ‘I love you’s’. Children often look for the little things like facial expression and voice recognition from you for reassurance. Can you connect and stay connected without being physically there? As kaiako, we did our best to maintain relationships- thank goodness for modern technology- but we are so grateful to be back teaching, connecting, building relationships and learning alongside tamariki again.

 Don’t ever under estimate the power of love. Children need authentic love just as much as any human but quite possibly now even more than you can imagine. 

“Love and Connection - A child cannot thrive if they are not loved first. Authentic love of each child is at the heart of all our actions at Creators. Neuroscience tells us that the brain needs to be in a state of well-being before it can be ready for learning. The warm environment of love and genuine connection we foster at Creators enhances every child’s learning and development” 

– Creators pillar.

 As we now start to move through levels, don’t be afraid to love hard. Tell the ones you love that you love them as much as you can, love deep, authentically and from the heart. Our tamariki need us to show them that everything is ok. We do this through our relationships with them. We need to also remember that our environment plays a very crucial role here also. It has the ability to show them that as kaitiaki/guardians of Papatūānuku/Mother Earth, we should honour her, protect and care for her. We have all worked very hard in our own way to keep her and ourselves safe- to love our world and all that’s in it. Our tamariki deserve to have environments where their well-being is valued and cared for.

“These are places where we remember to slow down and be present with each other. At Creators children receive one-on-one attention, and their needs and voices are respected. We listen and respond with love and genuine connection.” 

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Its times like these you learn to love again and let yourself be loved.

Written with love by Ms Paula,

Creators Forest Lake