Sankofa comes from the Twi language of Ghana in West Africa. A common English translation is “go back and get it.” The sankofa bird is an example of adinkra. Adinkra symbols make up a highly symbolic language—similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics. They are common among the Akan people of Ghana, and have made their way into the wider African diaspora. The symbols express complex thoughts and proverbs. The sankofa bird’s head faces backward as it attempts to catch its lost egg in its mouth. Its feet face forward. One translation is, “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have lost,” or “that which was taken.” Learn your past so that it may guide your actions in the present for the purpose of shaping the future. Another translation: “remember the past to protect the future.”
Whether it is a story about Rip Van Winkle or A Wrinkle in Time, sentient and self-aware beings cannot escape their enchantment with time. It wasn’t only Unitarian Charles Dickens who used time travel as a device to offer Scrooge redemption by visits to his Christmas’ past, present and future. Time like threads woven into the warp and weft of our lives connects us and all that followed the big bang. Tracing those threads as we seek to know where they lead has been a human endeavour since the ancient past.
We have decided to hold regular Whanau/Family Gathering Days throughout the year and invite you to join us. Unitarian spirituality is all about connection and building community.
Our first Whanau Day was held this Easter Sunday, 4 April 2021 (see slideshow below). The whole congregation were invited to a nearby member’s home and in the park behind their house, to play, share food, music, conversation, and, of course, to hunt for eggs.