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New Zealand Maori have a saying: ‘Ka hinga atu he tete-kura, ka hara-mai he tete-kura’, which loosely translates to ‘As one fern frond dies, one is born to take its place’.

160828 koru (5)

Maori call the newborn, unfurling fern frond a koru. It symbolises creation and new life, and represents strength and peace. The koru also embodies the spiral motif, found in the art of many ancient cultures. Its circular shape suggests perpetual motion, and the spiral itself communicates not only the idea of constant growth through its outward movement but also, through its inward coil, the concept of returning to a point of origin. The koru, with its beautiful promise of hope and new life to come, is one of my favourite things in the natural world.