Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tane Mahuta - Lord of the Forest

Theme Song of the Day:
  1. "Tree Live", by Ookalah Da Moc, live at Saint Rocke Hermossa Beach

What do you say to something that has been alive for 2,000 years?

Thank you.

At least, that’s what came out for me, a little any scurrying over his roots as he stood silently watching, as he has done through the span of modern history. His presence is felt in my soul, a deep, quiet, knowing consious that permeates the surrounding forest.

My travel companion, a bright-eyed 19 year-old German WWOOFer on a gap year before commencing his studies in biology, whispers
“How can one not be moved?” 

I am glad that he too, is humbled by the simple ancient majesty rising before us.

According to Maori legend, Tane is the son of Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatuamuku, the earth mother. His birth tore the parents apart from their primal embrace, creating the rift in which came light, space, and air, allowing life to to flourish.

Tane Mahuta is the oldest known kauri tree, estimated have sprouted from its seed around the birth of Christ. His massive trunk stretches almost 14 meters in diameter, while he towers about 51 meters above the forest floor. Some 30 species of various other plants grow nestled within his branches, some of which are as thick as the younger trees growing all around in the forest.

He looks like a god with many arms, some reaching to the heavens while others hold the life growing within his embrace. There is a calm aura that radiates into the surrounding forest from within.

Lesser trunks abound throughout, still impressive in their size and age: this one probably 250 years old, that one perhaps 500… It boggles the mind to think that Waiopua Forest was once carpeted with these ancient trees from valley ridge to ocean shores. And there is a lingering sense of loss that permeates the forest here – the ancient beings that once stood tall and proud here have only recently been felled, relative to the ages housands of years that they lived in this wild corner of the world.


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Question of the Day:
  • What would you have said to Tane Mahuta?

1 comment:

  1. If something was 2,000 years old i think it's a bit poor that you didn't sing Happy Birthday...