Hanalei taro fields. Photo by Léo Azambuja
In the beginning there was the void. Then, the day and the night. Then, the land and the sea. Whether it is the Kumulipo (a Hawaiian creation chant) or the Bible or other sacred story, there is always the creation story.
Somewhere, around 5 billion years ago, our sun was created out of that enormous vastness we call eternity. More locally, 5 million years ago, volcanic eruptions shaking this planet created one of Hawai‘i’s oldest islands, Kaua‘i, our home.
In the center of what became the Pacific Ocean; surrounded by a huge circle of volcanic activity known as the “Ring of Fire”; on one of the most remote, protected islands on Earth; you found yourself in the center of a miracle, a person blessed to be here. Perhaps you were born here, or migrated here from another country, or found yourself drawn by family, romance, surf or service to live in this remote, rural setting.
There was a moment when you knew you were in the most beautiful place on Earth.
When the amazing power of the waves, the superb beaches, glorious sunsets, fantastic gardens and plants, simply melted your heart. Surrounded by family and support, or simply a new person learning our community, it is always the miracle of creation unfolding around us. And you are the miracle.
No matter where you were born, here you are. And to make things even more amazing, our outrageously beautiful island people, no matter where they originated, share the spirit of ‘Ohana, of working together, to make our island safe, healthy and comfortable. Aloha creates the bonds of friendship and respect that hold our island community safe.
Just by being here, you created a massive shift in the island’s future. Your arrival created excitement and joy in your family. Your vacation created a sense of relief, of ease, of pleasure and healing in your life. Your schooling or activities, your shopping, your exploring, all create jobs, services and changes in our ‘aina, our land. Your activities either build our island or damage it. That is the essence of doing things in harmony. Be responsible for what you create.
We create so much without even noticing, good feelings or bad. Our driving creates ease on the roads or anger and near accidents. Being gracious and kind to elders creates comfort for them and smiles for us. The extra moment we spend tending a child, or helping a coworker — these things make our community strong.