Wairua is the Maori word for spirit or soul. To some, the wairua resides deep within the heart or mind of a person. Others, however, believe it resides throughout our entire bodies, pulsing through our veins with every beat of our heart. During life, the wairua may leave the body for brief periods during dreams. During this time, it wields the power to warn the individual of impending danger through these visions or dreams.
What is so enticing about this Maori word for spirit? I am a UMaine Black Bear and in two weeks I will embark upon a two day journey to the edge of the world. What will begin as a lengthy flight out of Boston--- full of many tiny seats, numerous snoring neighbors, more airplane peanuts than I will confess to eating and several layovers--- five months later will hopefully end with my ability to fully grasp the essence of the wairua of a black bear and what it means to be quintessentially Kiwi.