Yesterday, as I was scrolling through the news on my handheld device, a beautiful array of blues and greens, swirls, and light caught my eye.  The image magnificently danced with a spiral embedded within the aurora borealis in northern Alaska.  The world stood still as I traveled through time and found myself reminiscing on my own spiritual journey while tramping through New Zealand. I felt magnetically pulled from within to lean in and learn more about Mãori culture. I discovered how the Mãori people, language, and culture are deeply intertwined with their natural environment and the abundance of outwardly symbols in the form of statues, jewelry, and pouwhenua ( land posts) visibly present throughout my travels in both the North and South Islands.  A constant reminder of their connection to Earth and the spirit world.  I found solace in nature and completed several of New Zealand’s Great Walks. This was a time of deep soul-searching, as I was at an impasse in my life journey.  I realized how important and necessary it is to feel aligned, in balance, and within harmony of one’s surroundings.  While tramping (backpacking), deep in the bush, I was incredibly fortunate to be moving through this space when the silver ferns began unfurling new fronds.  The Mãori refer to these new fronds as Koru, translated as new beginnings.  Suddenly, the impasse in my life was no more – I embraced what I realized was a time of new beginnings. 

UU Asheville has been moving through a period of deep soul-searching as we look to call a new lead minister.  As we embark upon Candidating Week here at UU Asheville, lean into the Koru, and relish in the excitement, hope, and infinite possibilities that await our congregation, and be curious and explore ideas and connections during this time of new beginnings. 

And, while the spiral in the northern lights was magnificent, its source was not…let it be a reminder that beauty is not always what it seems, and we must remain steadfast in our search for meaning and purpose.  

Wendy Motch-Ellis, Director of Administration