I've been back in Aotearoa for one week and it's been hectic; straight into kaupapa (events, workshops) and wānanga (internalisations) - with myself and with others. Only in the last few days have I made time for myself; to stop, be still and to try and ground myself - to be present in whatever I'm doing. It's the bed I've made, I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything - I'm just setting the scene lol as you were...
I've been told I spend a lot of time (waaaay too much time) with Ranginui (Sky Father), too much time in my own head; thinking, ruminating and going over different whakaaro (thoughts). This isn't breaking news, I already knew I thought a lot.. and with all the things going on in my life; moving back home, new mahi, new opportunities, managing relationships etc. grounding myself to Papatuanuku (Mother Earth) has been long overdue and necessary.
Is that what Hinetītama did when she transformed into Hinenuitepō?
I mean, te whenua (the earth) is dark and if you're in it, your world could feel like chaos and confusion (pō)? Was she grounding herself to Papatuanuku; establishing a connection to something physical to draw energy from and using it as something to channel her energy through, to help her heal and process what was going on?
And during that process, did Hinenuitepō realise something, her potential perhaps, and choose to remain with te ūkaipō, Papatuanuku - rather than ascend back to te ao mārama (world of light)?
When I compare it to my own life; I've been away from home for some time and with that time and space, I've been able to reflect on areas of my life; go through processes; breakdown and build myself, my values and my beliefs back up again.. but entering into this new phase; back home and amongst my people, surrounded by my tupuna (ancestors) i.e. those I'm accountable to....
I have to make sure that the foundation I'm choosing to build on is stable and can withstand what's to come.. And to do that, I know it in my heart, I need to make time to be still, to come down from spending all of my time with Rangi/in my own head and ground myself with Papatuanuku. To tie my whakaaro and learnings to something physical, so that as I journey through te pō, through the chaos and unknown of the phases to come, my grounding with Papatuanuku will serve as the known, the foundation of who I am.