By Virginia Beck

Milo Spindt and Jordan Kahawai at the Kaua‘i Fire Department graduation.

Milo Spindt and Jordan Kahawai at the Kaua‘i Fire Department graduation.

May is one of the most beautiful and joyful months of the year. So many things are blooming and flourishing after the spring rains.

In Waimea, the Gold trees (Tabebuia aurea) splash vibrant golden yellow across the deep turquoise skies of the Westside. A brief vision of brilliance flashes against the stark lava cliffs on the way to Koke’e.

May starts with excitement and creative energy: flowers, scents, leaves, bark, berries and crocheted wonders for our Lei Day in Hawai‘i. A wonderful tradition, that binds us, with garlands of flowers and scented maile and mokihana from the uplands!

May Day programs are treasured through the generations with dance and numerous lei-making contests. Be sure to participate with your own creation or visit the winning lei at Kaua‘i Museum in Lihu‘e.

May is a month of celebration for wedding and graduations. Kindergarten to high-school, college or university, we are all moving on. ‘Ohana, families and friends, smother us with the piled lei of flowers, greenery, candy and sometimes, if you are lucky, cash!

Our families celebrate the fact that success does not belong to us alone, but to the hard work, care and encouragement of a whole community of aunties and uncles besides our parents and our own courage. Your triumph belongs to them and the community.

Advice on how to succeed is poured on graduates, because now, your life is hurrying on and changing once again. Time to party — safely, please, thank you Project Grad, and safer party opportunities for high-school graduates.

The secret of success is not winning the first time you try. It is how many times you can pick yourself up, after you fall or fail many times. A successful wealthy businessman once told me, “If 51 percent of my decisions pay off, I win”.

People often succeeded because they don’t know about the obstacles they faced.

Not knowing the hardships, they just kept going. “Too stupid to know it couldn’t be done”, says the old proverb; but those who keep working at solutions, win.

Anyone who ever succeeds at anything, knows it wasn’t really their effort that made it happen, but a whole team of supporters, coaches, mentors, teachers and friends that made the journey possible.

Especially moms and dads. May is time to celebrate all the mothers! The dads will get their day in June with fishing, hunting, beaches and surf. Plus plenty of food!

Mother’s Day is a particular sweet graduation. When a woman becomes a mother, she leaves girlhood behind and moves into a relationship unlike anything she has ever known. She moves into a pre-historic inheritance passed from woman to woman beyond anything science or school or intelligence can teach. Mothering is “caught,” not taught.

Virginia Beck

Virginia Beck

The physical changes in our body are accompanied by hormonal changes that make us more sensitive to moods, emotions, smells, tastes and feelings. This vulnerability is preparing to soften our hearts to open to a new keiki; to meet these fragile babies, with respect and love.

As overwhelming as it can be, leaving us sometimes stressed and uncertain, we rely on the community of women, our partners, our tutus and aunties, to help us make good choices. When you deliver a child into this world, you have truly graduated to a new life.

This will not be the last time you graduate, and on Kaua’i, you will always have Ohana to help you celebrate. Imua!

  • Virginia Beck, NP, Certified Trager Practitioner®, does private Wellness Consulting and Trager ® practice at the YWCA Women’s Center in Lihu She is part of the Women’s Health Team at West Kaua‘i Clinics, and can be reached at 635-5618.



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