Today we did something very meaningful and something that the likes of will never be seen again in the town of Lucama, NC.
You see Lucama is where Robin’s, McClenny side of the family are from. Her father was born and raised there and several generations before him, in and around that area. Its flat, its hot, its agricultural land and while economically has seen better days there is are strong ties within this community and the land.
Oh yes the land. In NZ for some we have a tradition of when a baby is born that the parents keep the Placentia or afterbirth. Yes sounds gross and before you go there …. no we don’t eat it. We call it Whenua (Fen-ua) which translated means land. It is the tradition that after some time you return it to the land (or dust) by burying it back in the ground and…
We took our sweet time in getting to this point today but now seems especially appropriate to do it and do it here as we prepare to depart. We joke that Moana was made in NZ but born in the USA, however burying her Whenua here in Lucama today was definitely the right thing to do for lots of reasons.
Some humor is that when Moana was born we had to sign all sorts of paperwork to get it. I wonder if in New Zealand they just give it to you. It was given to us in a hazmat bag at the hospital and until today it was in that same hazmat bag. All the time chilling in the freezer.
As we go through this season of Lent, I couldn’t help but think of that today and the words often spoken on Ash Wednesday of “From dust you came and to dust you shall return”. Well today Moana you got your connection to the land reinforced. And while your connection to the land will exist on opposite corners of the world, you will always know the land and what “places” you came from.