Friday, October 23, 2009

Sacred Moloka'i

I woke up this morning to a sky striped in pale blues, pinks, and grays, and the air so fresh I knew it must have rained. Not a hard rain, which has only happened a couple of times in the two months I’ve been here (and even that wasn’t really hard, not like the rain we had while in Kalaupapa), but the kind that I’ve come to associate with this particular place on this particular island: a graceful, drizzly, nearly invisible veil of fine drops whipped sideways by the winds. The kind I always feel and smell before I actually know it’s raining, and that no matter what I’m doing, I stop, watch, enjoy.

I'm aware that today is the 23rd. As hard as I’ve been trying to not pay attention to time, I am aware that a month from today I will be on a plane heading “home.” Just the thought makes me weepy, and not even necessarily a sad weepy (though I wouldn't rule it out…), more like a profoundly moved weepy. I truly did not know what to expect in my time here, and if you’ve kept up with this blog, you’ll know the absolute truth of those words. But if I had, already it would have greatly surpassed any expectations this limited mind could ever have put on it.

I’ve struggled over the last few days trying to write about my experience, what I feel going on inside me, and the deep love and connection I feel for and with this island. The land is alive, and there is a spirit living and breathing here that is palpable, and that for some reason, I resonate strongly with. I have heard and now know from experience that Moloka'i has retained more of the the "old Hawaii" than any of the other main islands. And indeed, when I visited Maui recently with my sister, the differences were glaring, heartrending, and hard to take after living for almost two months in the "realness" that is here. As a visitor, I'm aware that I cannot truly know or speak to this "real Hawaii" though I can and do feel something tangible deep inside, something I'm not able to articulate.

The saga of this island and her people is a touching one. If you're interested in knowing more, here is a wonderful, short, video about Moloka’i. In the background is the music of Lono, a gentle, lovely, (sexy!) man (no doubt a Moloka’i prince) whose Old Style Hawaiian folk music, specifically his songs about Moloka’i, has moved me to tears. Twice so far I've seen him perform, and both times it has turned me inside out, where my heart, my soul, every cell of my body has been exposed and worked over by the beautiful instruments, melodies, language, and voice.

For more information about Lono, go to

(And btw, just what is it about a man holding, caressing and strumming a guitar that's so appealing???)


According to the video, pono is to be physically and spiritually in accord with the sacred. How simple, and yet how profound. Sacred is maybe the word I've been searching for that has alluded me. These islands are the sacred. Moloka'i is the sacred. Being here sacred.

All I can really say for sure is that I know big shifts are happening. To say I am grateful for my time here, for what I know is happening inside while I'm here, is not just an understatment, but feels woefully inadequate. Just like the vibrant, dynamic and powerful Pacific sculpts the incredible rock formations out on Kepuhi Beach, so she, Moloka'i, is fashioning me. From what, I have an idea; into what, remains to be seen. I am the clay, hers the strong, capable, loving, sacred hands.

And in those hands, as corny as it may sound, I just might be becoming the woman I've long wished to be.



With aloha nui, from Moloka'i


  1. thank you for bringing Molokai to me while I sit at home. I'll be there in 2 weeks and your posting provides a great way to transition from my hectic pace to the wonderful, slow pace of Molokai. I can see by your photos that you are on the west end. Perhaps our paths will cross before you leave.

  2. Aloha, Ellyn,

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, I am on the west side, savoring the pace and peace here. It's a good chance our paths will cross... it seems to be how it works here on this island. I'm the one who's always by myself except for my camera!

    Safe travels. How long is your stay?



I love that you've stopped by... thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I'll make every effort to visit your blog as soon as I can. Enjoy your day.