Getting that soft-creamy-milky-comfort amidst covid-19

I’m around a lot of (online) babies at the moment. Four of my siblings have been sharing their babies with us on facetime – and it’s such a refreshing joy amongst these peculiar covid times. I cant help but learn from identifying what these babies need, to help clarify what we adults also need too.

Babies are wired to seek soft-creamy-milky-comfort.  I mean seriously what better place is there, than to be cozied up in the soft warm body of the mother – slurping on creamy goodness! Put yourself in the babies position – you can’t move / you can’t feed yourself / you can’t warm yourself / your sight is limited / you have limited verbal language to communicate and somehow security and safety arrives with a warmth and softness cloaking over you – repeatedly, consistently and constantly.

When babies don’t get their soft-creamy-milky-comfort, they let us know. They communicate through discomfort, usually crying. If that crying is unattended to they get louder and louder and scream. Eventually, the baby gives up and become despondent. Goes into a kind of numb shock where they give up on calling out. So we’ve got a huge part of the world’s adult population that are either screaming for attention, or given up on calling for help.

Ukaipo is one of my most favourite Maori concepts

u = breast

kai= food

po = night

Feeding on the breast by night. I can’t even unpack all the layered meaning that goes on with this concept in relationship to human needs (thats how brilliant our tipuna/ancestors were). But, simplistically it highlights that nourishment comes in so many forms.

  • Physical nourishment of food
  • Emotional nourishment of human connection – that is felt, not seen
  • Spiritual nourishment of knowing something outside of you, something bigger than yourself – looks out for you.

In another blog I titled “Whenua ukaipo; returning to the mother” I wrote;

“ I always say that essentially everybody in life is searching for the mothers milk, the ūkaipō, struggling, looking, searching for ways to re-create that feeling of security, safety, warmth of when you were a child in the your mothers arms. It is a powerful driver of behavior operating at levels higher than us.”

So much of this world is being brought up on really bad formula milk fed to us by some strangers hand from sources such as Facebook, Instagram or hyped-up brands. We’re extracting so much artificial nourishment from the world.  How do we find our way back to these nourishing basics? And how do we help others to have their cream-on-the-top too?

Artwork by Robyn Kahukiwa. I acknowledge Keri Kaa, on behalf of the Kaa whanau, as kaitiaki of this artwork entitled Ko Hikurangi te maunga, Ko Waiapu te awa, Ko Ngati Porou te iwi.

One thought on “Getting that soft-creamy-milky-comfort amidst covid-19

  1. Please keep whāngai-ing us these awesome concepts from your tīpuna.
    Ūkaipō. That is so beautiful. Especially in this time of need for both material and spiritual food.

    And one humble request: if your app allows, please keep those tohutō-macrons coming, e hoa! It really helps us who trying to learn Te Reo Tino Matua o Aotearoa. Thank you – Kia kaha tonu tō tuhinga.

    Liked by 1 person

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