Today was my farewell morning tea from work. Just in order to demonstrate how indispensable I am, no-one had organised any actual morning tea. I got on the phone to the staff caf for a tea trolley and Trustee Ann raced off to one of the on-site cafes for some sandwiches and slices. It was quite funny, actually.
Not many people were there but that made it intimate, and almost everybody spoke when the floor was opened about all kinds of nice things about me. I will treasure their words.
Equally, I will treasure the pounamu taonga that was given to me, gifted by the Trust and the Chaplaincy team, chosen by Ann, blessed by the Maori Chaplains and placed around my neck by the co-ordinating chaplain with whom I have worked most closely. The shape symbolises new beginnings and growth. It is a tiny koru set into a larger, unbroken circle, which to me represents that I am surrounded by people who love and support me as I start to unfurl this new branch of my life. It is highly polished and just the size of the last joint of my thumb. It is beautiful.
After it had been placed around my neck, Maori Chaplain Bella led everyone in a round of “For she’s a jolly good fellow” – the poor Pakeha version of a waiata, I guess. I wish I had followed my heart and replied with one of the few proper waiata I know, but I chickened out. So I will type it here, and if anyone who was there reads it, they can pretend I sang it for them.
Me te rangimarie
Tatou tatou e.
Love, faith and peace be amongst us all.