Mental Health Ministries

Resiliency and Hope

The pohutukawa tree found in New Zealand is often referred to as the New Zealand Christmas Tree as it produces a vibrant red flower and blooms well into January. There is a very special pohutukawa tree at the northern most point of the southern island of New Zealand at a place called Cape Reinga.  For the indigenous Māori people, Cape Reinga is the most spiritually significant place in New Zealand.  There has been a pohutukawa tree at Reinga, clinging precariously to the edge of the cliff, for over 800 years. 

The New Zealand Christmas tree has the remarkable ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs.  Because of this it has found an important place in New Zealand culture for its strength and beauty. It can send out aerial roots from its gray and corky trunk or branches when it needs to anchor itself in place. 

Reading about this tree caused me to think about resiliency and the need to find ways to anchor ourselves during this difficult time. There isn’t one specific strategy to use to build resilience. It’s a process of establishing connections, coping with stress, adjusting your thought process, and fostering physical and spiritual wellness. It is a highly personal journey. Our spiritual life and faith can be a way to find resiliency and to anchor ourselves in hope for new beginnings and fresh starts as we look ahead to 2021.