Ke Ali'i Pauahi...
I can't count the amount of times I have been to Mauna 'Ala in my Lifetime...but I do know that each visit has been unique and contributed to my understanding of myself, and this World, in large and small ways. My two sons participated in Founder's Day at Kamehameha today. Elliott, for the first time, performed a male hula kahiko during the school observance at Kekūhaupi'o. I remain very proud of my two sons.
I had a desire to visit the Kamehameha Crypt today but I have recently been withdrawing away from crowds and back into my loner self. Lots of introspection lately. I arrived at an opportune time as the sacred grounds were empty. I imagined Kahu Maioho was blissfully fast asleep in a much needed nap after what must have been a busy and hectic morning with so many visitors and ceremonies on this auspicious Birthday of the Founder of Kamehameha Schools.
I know that Kahu is sometimes overwhelmed, or not feeling his best, but feels compelled to come out and help host the larger visiting groups. I worry about his well-being, so I tried to be quiet in my visit. I removed my shoes and stood before the Kamehameha Crypt. Quietly chanting the only chant I know dedicated specifically to Kamehameha the Great. I felt especially self-conscious being the only living being in front of the crypt. Any errors, or sudden forgetfulness couldn't be attributed to anyone else, or the sharing of shame with others. It was just me.
I felt Ke Ali'i Pauahi and Kauikeaouli present. I am not sure about anyone else. I have been to the crypt with gifted friends with 'ike pāpā lua who will quietly announce who makes an appearance while you are there communicating. Even King Lunalilo showed up once, even though he isn't buried there, but at Kawaiaha'o. I often wish I had such gifts, but then again, I couldn't handle them.
If I was able see Ke Ali'i Pauahi standing there, or Kauikeaouli, or Queen Emma. A beloved Hawaiian on the other side of the Spiritual Veil, especially of such magnitude, I would immediately erupt into sobbing and fall to my knees. I have had mini-tests before form the Spirit World and I failed miserably. I just can't handle it. When my Mother showed up a few months after her death, and stood next to be in the broad daylight of a beach in 'Ewa, I couldn't even look up to where she stood. I just hung my head, looked at the sand, and wept. Listening to my beautiful gifted friend give me the messages my Mother wanted to give me. Every single message rang true in my core. It was a great comfort and still is.
So there I stood, and halfway through my chant, the quiet stillness was broken by rustling branches and leaves, as a wind started from mauka, getting stronger and stronger until I had a hard time hearing my own voice. I had to raise my voice, still cognizant not to have it carry to Kahu's quiet home. The wind put a force on me where I had to brace my knees and bend slight forward as the wind enveloped me.
When I finished, the wind stopped, just like that. I knew it was the most gentle contact and affirmation of Spiritual presence that I could handle, and I openly wept in humble gratitude. I had learned from King Lunalilo, that the wind was the Hā of the Ali'i. To strengthen and embolden us to find the fortitude to do what is Pono, despite all costs and fears. I had been at that crypt many times before, especially in long conversations pleading about our efforts to get our sons into Kamehameha. If Ke Ali'i Pauahi could help take care of my sons, help educate them, help them excel, I would pledge all of my energy to help our Hawaiian people until my dying breath, and then beyond. I still hold tight to that promise.
I had to bring forth the painful shame of having sold my Kamehameha Class Ring during a particularly destitute and bereft period of my Life while in college. The dark and dangerous pathways to my untimely demise, only averted by the smallest glimmer of a kukui nut torch far in the distance of Time, giving a glimmer of Hope. Ka Lamakū o ka Na'auao. The torch of wisdom. Lovingly lit by a generous beautiful woman, who had the amazing foresight to sacrifice many things to give Life to the children of the Future.
As I said my goodbyes, I turned to go back to my car. A light gentle rain began to fall sparkling in the Sunlight. Tears fell again as I put my shoes back on. The light cleansing rain. Such a Blessing and Gift. Just like my beloved late sister, Nalani, and her beautiful Kamehameha Class Ring, which I now keep with me. Forged into it all the sufferings of a beautiful shy blonde-haired green-eyed girl attending a school for Native Hawaiians. I know Love and Forgiveness are truly Eternal.
I know as my beautiful sister suffered greatly in her last days, of an insidious and indiscriminating disease, so did Ke Ali'i Pauahi suffer from the same condition. I also know Ke Ali'i Pauahi found comfort in the knowledge that her Love would transcend her Earthly body, her suffering, and find renewal in the beautiful smiling faces of the enlightened children. Not just her children at her school, but all children. All of them, who truly are the beautiful loving nā pua o Ke Ali'i Pauahi. Happy Birthday my Beautiful Princess. Love you Forever. And then some...