By Virginia Beck

Waimea Pier, Kaua‘i’s Westside. Photo by Léo Azambuja

To know yourself is an awesome thing. But do you really know yourself?

There are many adventures on Kaua‘i , that you have never tried. Whether you are a seasoned world traveller or this is your first trip to Kaua‘i, you have many beautiful, extraordinary and spectacular experiences to explore. Even those of us who live here have many adventures ahead.

As the world becomes smaller and smaller, and pure, untouched landscapes become rarer, you become one of the few people — among 7.4 billion — on Earth who have set foot on our island, the jewel of the Pacific.

One of the most remote inhabited islands, Kaua‘i is estimated to be more than 5 million years old. Much older than the Big Island, which is currently reminding us that it is the youngest of our inhabited islands with active volcanoes still in the process of creating new land.

Kaua‘i is unique in that much of our island is still raw and beautiful, representing one of the most exquisite natural habitats on Earth. While developers do much to provide luxurious accommodations, which many enjoy, the real beauty of Kaua‘i is in what we don’t have.

We don’t have the high fashion arcades of Waikiki, and we don’t have super skyscrapers. Instead, we have a traditional native culture that goes back more than a thousand years. Our people are living treasures, bloodlines, and historic voyages, arts and crafts handed down through generations. Our hula, kapa cloth, wooden paddles and canoes, and rare Ni‘ihau shell leis cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Lovingly preserved spiritual and philosophical values, honoring the best the Earth has to offer.

We try to live a life that is pono, balanced and in harmony, with the land, or ‘aina. And never forget we must give back more than we take. We don’t take more fish than we need. We never strip more maile from a plant than will allow it full regrowth.

We don’t plunder the riches of the land or the waters, or the air in anyway that will damage it or harm the inhabitants of the future. We think of the whole community as a living organism, with no one left out.

We never take the best. Instead, we try to be the best at giving the best we have for all generations.

Future generations will have to share a smaller Earth, as there will be more of them.

We will have to share a smaller island as we get more islanders and more visitors. So Kaua‘i asks us to be careful not to leave damage after we visit a beach, a forest or a mountain.

We cherish our water and keep it as clean as we can. We share limited resources, which are enough for all if we are mindful.

No Ka Oi is an expression of things that are the best, superlative, beyond the best. While often used it to express appreciation. It is fully understood in looking at the vision of primeval beauty that is Kaua‘i. Surreal green mountains and gorgeous beaches flow down to embrace the most beautiful oceans that have ever covered our Earth.

Which is more beautiful, the sunset or the sunrise? Which is better, the Na Pali Coast or Waimea Canyon? Do we love Hanalei best, or Ni‘ihau seen from a charter boat tour?

Would you rather have lobster, sushi or macadamia-nut-crusted opakapaka? Noodles or poke? Which sushi bar is the best? Where is the best burger?

Which bar has the most exotic cocktails? Which is your favorite Farmers Market, or your favorite island shave ice?

Who knows? Maybe you better head out and explore. Aloha no ka oi!

  • Virginia Beck, NP and Certified Trager® Practitioner, offers Wellness Consultation, Trager Psychophysical Integration and teaches Malama Birth Training classes. She can be reached at 635-5618.