Monday, May 15, 2006

Somewhere to go

'I couldn't have done it if I hadn't had somewhere to go'

Those words hit me hard when I heard them this morning as they reminded me of times when I too had needed somewhere else to go and the support to walk away. No matter how much you know you have to leave it takes an enormous amount of courage to walk out the door - especially not knowing where you are going next, beyond a friend's sofa that night...

I've been lucky and found that when the crunch came not only did a bed appear but a home. Both times it was through Quakers.

In a Māori mihi (introducing yourself, usually formally) you'd state your iwi (tribe) and whanau (family - but more so), last time I mentioned whanau Mair commented mentioning the line in 'Lilo and Stitch' how 'family means no-one is left behind'. Like many Quaker Pakeha (those of European decent) here I consider Te Hāhi Tūhauwiri (Maori name for Quakers) to be my iwi, but they also make up much of my whanau, and they've made sure I haven't been left behind.

I was writing recently to someone about circular support - the concept of 'pass it on' , how often you aren't able to return the same favour directly but you can do the same for someone else as has been done for you. This time it has been my turn to provide the somewhere to go.

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