By Virginia Beck
At last you are here. You made it! Kaua‘i: rare, remote jewel of an island, preserved through the deep gratitude of its inhabitants. To live pono, in harmony with nature, respecting it.
Missionaries translated pono as righteousness, a religious word. That word is too small for the true nature of what is pono, what is in balance.
Long before the words of ecology and climate were born, our ancestors lived in harmony with nature, because they depended on it for their lives, and their livelihoods. We still do, though the illusions of electronic toys and technology hide this truth.
Life is a gift to us, a gift from the planet. The planet asks nothing of us, yet ocean lovers will not pollute it. Those who love mountains will not strip the vegetation that provides our watersheds, our hardwoods, and our hunting. Anyone who loves clean, cool water, cool on a hot day, will not contaminate our soil and our waters with poisons.
We are blessed to be here. Billions are not. Just a few, out in the deep Pacific, waiting for you. We are blessed with so much, that the beauty touches places in the heart we did not know existed. It brings us to deep awareness of how precious our lives are. How precious you are. Right here, right now.
You are so blessed even now, while the television explodes with negativity, judgment and opinion makers. No matter, it always says the same thing. Meanwhile, the sky is shifting clouds and rainbows, and colored shadows race below. It’s far more important than electronic shadow patterns of dancing pixels.
You are real. This island is real. It wakes you up to what is really important. It is why I live here in the islands for more than 50 years. To be alive to experience this world, these people, this flower, this tree. Here we live aloha, a word meaning so many things, but especially love and respect.
Practice what the Chinese called “Wu Wei,” to do without doing. To be so present to life and put our hearts into our work and play. So filled with the joy of being with each other, that even the hard work seems fun. Surrender to the sky, to the sky, to the star-spattered night. The love we share.
Just this, a gentle, moist, green island, swept by cloud showers, enough for the day. The generosity of dawn, spilling sun and color, recklessly sharing it with anyone. A parade of clouds, splashed with colors no artist can match, flowing overhead, occasionally spilling enough rain for today. And a rainbow or two just for fun.
Distant bird calls, and the steady pulse of the ocean throwing itself in wild abandon against the million year old lava cliffs. A billion sparkles of light dancing on every wave, every raindrop, in every eye that catches yours. What greater magic than this?
Consider your breath the ultimate gift the planet gives you. Air that is clean, cloud-filtered, plant breath, changing with the time of day, soaking up the excess carbon, birthing oxygen. How can we be anything but grateful? Our breath, the most precious thing in life, and the planet offers it to us without asking anything in return.
Honor it with thanks, and use it to share aloha. It heals, forgives, uplifts and honors all who honor it.
- 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.