40 years ago somebody put some music and some actions to a Hone TUWHARE poem, No Ordinary Sun, a warning about nuclear explosions and the devastation they leave in their wake.
It was a beautiful piece, scary in its imagery but beautiful in its presentation. Performed across the nation as part of Maranga Mai, and appreciated for the simplicity of its message, it became one of anthems of the Movement in Tai Tokerau.
Today as I drove home to Kaitaia I saw a child of that waiata, and it too was No Ordinary Sun. It shone through the smoke of the Australian fires, brighter than any sun I have ever seen before, reflecting off the windows of every car I drove past like those lights you see in a tunnel, focused and direct. In all my years of driving I have never seen the like before.
If it was meant as a reminder of the devastation we bring upon ourselves by the way we ignore the pain we are putting our Mother Earth through, then it worked.
If it was meant as a statement about the need to heed the indigenous plea for a new way to care for our world, by looking to the old ways, then it worked.
No Ordinary Sun indeed …
Hone Harawira is the leader of the MANA Movement