"Ho'oulu 'Aina addresses the health needs of Kalihi Valley (on the Island of O'ahu) by strengthening the connection between people and land. Through four interwoven program areas, the community comes together to create a 100 acre upland resource of forest, food, knowledge, spirituality, and health activity. As we restore this land to health and productivity, we learn that healing is reciprocal." - Ho'oulu 'Aina
" The transformation of despair into hope is alchemical work, creative work. And what all transformations have in common, writes Rebecca Solnit, "is that they begin in the imagination.To hope is to gamble," she says. "It's to bet on the future, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty are better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk. I say all this to you because hope is not like a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. I say this because hope is an ax you break down doors with in an emergency; because hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from annihilation of the earth's treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal. Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope." - a quote from Rebecca Solnit on Terri Windling's blog Myth and MoorAll day long the rain has fallen. Heavy. Sudden. Piercing. Near hail. The temperature has shifted from an early summer seventy-eight to forty nine. The weather, the elemental gods Lono, Kane they are not blind to the smallness of spirit in humans who are bred on smallness and fear. 'Aue the tragic killing in Orlando. 'Aue, 'aue, ho'ouwe kalani! Oh, oh what cause for the heavens to cry!
Very early this morning I woke to make time to write one more segment in the medicine story that is uprooting old issues of shame and fear. So deep are some of these issues one life-time may not be enough to ferret them out. But, it will not be for lack of trying. I have worn teeth to prove what an aging ferret's teeth are like. In this growing medicine story the character Uncle Moon wrote a letter to a tiny girl on her first birthday. In green ink, written in a flowing script he wrote:
My Tutu always told me patience is something no man can take from you. So this is how you and me learn about patience. I write, we read. I write, we read. Then you learn to write, we read. Ho'omana
In between my piecing of thoughts into story, I diverted and went to one of my favorite art-nurturing watering holes: Myth and Moor. The quote above describing Hope was part of the beautiful offering left there by Terri Windling.
There. There was something to build into my writer's imagination, and medicine story. I felt the push, the shove that must have been what got me out of a warm bed, and into the woods where already the puddles of rain were deep enough to soak my little shoes clear through. The medicine story being written pulls on threads and roots from so many directions: a mele a song whose meaning has been variously interpreted over more than a hundred years; a name that has laid down waiting, waiting for what? Maybe, the names wait for the next waves or rainfalls filled with hope.
A few days ago, I received a message and an attachment from our son who lives on O'ahu. A second podcast produced by Hui Mauli Ola recorded an interview with a wonderful wahine o Kalihi a woman of Kalihi Valley on the Island of O'ahu. We know this wahine Puni Jackson. When Pete and I were newly unended and empty of hope because we no longer had the safety of 'a home' to live in, our son, Christopher Kawika, invited us to met and visit with Puni Jackson. At the time (2007) Puni and her kane had just moved onto the land and the project called Ho'oulu 'Aina was newly hanau. The land was wild, raw and wet! Though we could not stay, we were welcomed and felt the safety of this pu'uhonua.
Nearly ten years after, we listen to this podcast and heard the journey of hope and healing in Puni's words about the healing process of Ho'oulu 'Aina. The YouTube presentation that begins this post is also Puni Jackson (2015) speaking about the personal messages that needed to be transformed, with hope. Through that listening I learned more about the young woman of forty, mother to her fifth keiki, and example of aloha who gave us hope when we most needed it.
"Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope." - Rebecca Solnit