Opinion: Seasonal changes teach us to reflect

Kusitina Colailgo. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Kusitina Colailgo. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Ni sa bula vinaka, Talofa lava, Fakalofa Lahi atu, Malo e lelei, Mauri, Halo olgeta and a warm Pacific greetings to you all from the beautiful, autumnal and colourful Central Otago.

This is my first talanoa session with you all for 2024 and I am excited to be a part of The News again. To shine my little light, to give a little hope or make someone smile because of my piece of writing in The News, is a blessing for me.

God bless you everyone.

Since last year I have been writing mostly about our cultures, traditions, languages, customs, and how we learn and pass down knowledge through the generations.

I also wrote about how this knowledge can be retained and kept using our own unique and most precious languages, songs and dances, because they tell our stories, our histories and our connections to each other and the universe.

If you listen to the traditional songs and dances they tell the stories of past events, the universe and the creatures that lived around us.

They also talk of the seasons and activities that traditionally happened at the harvest time of yams and kumara.

These autumn months are recognised as the time to cultivate and harvest or as time to catch a type of fish or crab.

Plants flowering indicated the right time to harvest a crop or to catch fish of a particular species.

The winds from a particular direction, told us it is not a great time to sail a certain route, but time to adjust or wait.

Our folks read the seasons and lived harmoniously with the nature that surrounds them.

They were so in tune with these signs. The habits of creatures and flowering plants that coincided with fishing seasons or with harvest times.

It makes me wonder how connected we all are in the world that we live in now.

I love Central Otago mostly because of the seasons.

I know when Winter is here, there’s snow on the hills and frost on the roads.

Autumn arrives with the changing colours of the leaves and harvest time.

Springtime is my most favourite time of the year because of the promise of a new beginning, when the blossoms are in bloom; fruit is promised.

Summer! Hot sun, cool waters to swim in, sleeping under the willow trees by the lakeside.

Take notice of our surroundings, be aware of what the seasons bring and what’s happening in nature.

Plant a tree or grow some vegetables with your fanau to teach of or learn about this big universe we live in.

Learn to recognise incidences in nature and the seasons, or cycles, of life.

Go foraging to get to know your surroundings.

You live here too. It does affect you; like in springtime it’s flu season and asthma is bad. Why? Pollen from the blossoms and winds blowing it about.

So fanau pay attention! Turn off the digital — go and collect pine cones with your tamariki these holidays so you’re ready for Winter and stay warm.

— Kusitina Colailgo, Pasifika Central founder