I had been intending to go into the ocean for many months now. I never found the time. I knew I needed to go to cleanse and release pent up spiritual baggage. I had an opportunity to hiuwai on Maui at Kapalua but missed that opportunity due to a kanalua na'au. I had even promised Mr. Pohaku that I would get him into the ocean on Maui but never made it. Finally, the stars were aligned yesterday afternoon and I made it to Magic Island at Ala Moana right before Twilight.
The water was warm. The sky clear with a smattering of clouds drifting by. There didn't seem to be the regular throngs of people exercising, strolling, Sunning, swimming, stand-up-paddling, and doing other usual activities.
I had a large stretch of the beach to myself. As Mr. Pohaku and I entered the water, I prayed. I dunked Mr. Pohaku's head first and let him absorb the wai pa'akai. After sensing he was elated. I immersed myself in the healing waters as well. I spoke with Mr. Pohaku for awhile as some children floated by on an inner-tube caught up in their splashing games. I spoke with Ke Akua as I watched the Sun setting and the array of faces in the clouds. Forming quickly then some dissappearing while others morphed into even more fantastic images. I acknowledged the presence of the kupuna. The 'aumakua. The ʻĀnela kiaʻi. Guardian Angels.
As darkness enveloped the beach and what few people were present packed up their belongings and headed towards their cars, I floated with Mr. Pohaku absorbing the light descending from Heaven. In the distance, not too far from me, an ambulance came and attended to a person laying near the shoreline, with children and onlookers around them. I watched, barely seeing in the darkness as the E.M.T.'s kneeled down, back and forth, until a Firetruck came and emptied of Firemen. They were able to lift the person onto a stretcher and carry him or her up the beach to the awaiting ambulance. As I held the pohaku, I prayed to Ke Akua to spare their life. Not knowing male or female. Local or visitor. Nor knowing the seriousness of their condition. Tears flowed down my face.
In the distance, the stage was set up for the annual Lantern Floating Memorial Day Event. Overseen by Shinnyo-en, Lantern floating is an Asian spiritual tradition that beautifully symbolizes the wish for all beings to live in peaceful coexistence. As the lanterns are released onto the ocean they take with them our healing prayers for victims of conflict, famine, disaster and disease as well as our hopes for the happiness of all―― past, present and future.
The light shimmered on the ocean and beautiful music from the ceremony played on the loudspeakers as I drifted in the darkness. It brought all the beautiful feelings and emotions of the lantern event, but without 3,000 lanterns or 40,000 people. Just me and Mr. Pohaku floating in the darkness, silhouetted by the shimmering lights from the enormous stage. I humbly asked Ke Akua to take what He needed from me and release any pent up spiritual baggage. I let my tears flow freely. I was overwhelmed with feelings of love. I hugged Mr. Pohaku and with a honi, expressed my profound Aloha to him for coming into my life. Just then, a wind came, blowing from the direction of the stage and music. It blew over the surface of the water and when it finished, a light rain began to fall. The few people left on the beach scrambled for dry ground in the darkness. Just as soon as the rain began to fall, it had let up and the sky opened up once again to a panoramic view of the Heavens. I felt my Mother. I felt Ke Akua. I felt the Ancestors.
When I was very calm and felt at Peace, I decided we should head to shore. Just then, Fireworks shot up into the night sky over the Hilton in Waikiki. I hadn't been that close to them in years. They shot up and reflected on the shimmering water as Mr. Pohaku and I floated. We enjoyed the show as the booms echoed off of the gauntlet of tall buildings surrounding Ala Moana. Ricocheting and bouncing off the man-made steel and concrete canyons like rolls of Thunder.
I wished my Mother a Happy Birthday as she passed away a little over a year ago. I decided that I didn't need to write my Mother's name on a lantern and release it into the floatilla of na hali'i Aloha...the loving memories. I etched her name on my heart. There in the darkness. As Kanehekili sounded in swirling gunpowder explosions. Drifting and floating in the darkness. Illuminated only by God's love.
The clouds drifted overhead. It was a beautiful celebration. I thanked Ke Akua for one last time, as tears again flowed, for being so undeserving of such a profoundly beautiful magical life. As I enter the next Chapter of my Life. Time to kick it up a notch. Time is of the essence. The World is indeed waiting...