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Almost ten years ago I published a small booklet "Makua O`o ~the art and practice of becoming kupuna (elder)" Using my desk top publisher I assembled a master and took it to the local print shop and made hmmm... maybe fifty copies printed. Out of my own pocket I paid for my time and the expense of printing these little books. At the time I was a freelance writer and community organizer working with groups interested in exploring the link between traditional cultural values and present-day work settings. How would the ideas of consciously developing life skills find its way into the corporate and non-profit worlds? In my bones I knew the nine life skills had unmistakable application. I took my little books into workshops and board rooms, and told my stories. Without apology I wove the stories and listened for directions from the voice within me. In small increments I shared the teachings of Makua O`o with those who were interested. I think it entertained some people, entranced others who were not sure what or how Makua O`o would 'fit' into their lives. As with the kupuna who shared the teachings with me more than ten years ago, few at the time embraced the practice.
Time has passed. And then I received a call. Out of that past life a former co-worker called to ask permission to continue referencing my little book in her work. My old friend and co-worker, now retired as a diabetes health nurse and community educator, introduces herself as Makua O`o as she works in the Island communities restoring stone walls around the hei`au (traditional Hawaiian temples and observatories), cleaning lo`o kalo (taro patches). Through time, the practice has found a place ripe for growing. Timing is divine.
"The makua (adult) comes to the shoreline and looks out to sea watching and waiting for the ship bringing canned salmon, canned tuna and SPAM. The makua o`o comes to the shoreline and looks out to sea, and remembers how to fish."
-from the booklet Makua O`o~the art & practice of becoming kupuna
Yvonne Mokihana Calizar