I have been very Blessed in this Life to know Beautiful Gifted Friends who possess what  renown Hawaiian cultural icon, Mary Kawena Pukui, calls 'ike pāpā lua, or the gift of second sight. The ability to communicate with, and often see, Spirits.

I once had a Beautiful gifted friend of mine in my office at work some years ago. She had been holding a container of ancestral human skeletal remains, and trying to help me discern the identity of the iwi kupuna she was holding, as well as the disposition the person desired with regards to place of reburial. Having worked with thousands of iwi kupuna in the past, this was the first time I was able to have someone so gifted assist me in communicating with the Spirit World. It was a profound and life-changing experience which is a complete story unto its own.

However, after much tears were shed, and profound 'ike shared, we closed that day with my friend telling me that there were two individuals represented by the remains she was holding. I was confused, because I had seen, and worked with, the remains, and they were of one individual. I was certain. She was certain there were two. I even thought maybe fetal remains, so tiny, may have been represented somewhere in the container, but didn't think that was even possible, as again, I had examined the contents on many occasions. There was so much information shared that day, that it was overwhelming, and the issue of multiple individuals represented was put aside for the moment. We ended that day emotionally exhausted, but excited at the same time that the Spirit of the person was communicating.

The next day, my friend came back to my office to try and get more of the story and identity of the deceased individual. I had some meetings to attend to, so I set her up in my room, and left her with the container of remains. I also knew, from her previous sharing, that she had the ability to communicate with Spirits in rocks. As I was leaving my office, I paused, and for some reason, I said, "Oh, I just want you to know, that the entire file cabinet behind you is filled with rocks and other artifacts." I didn't know why I was compelled to have said that, but she immediately, stood up, and said, "Wait a minute...that's the second voice I heard yesterday. It was behind me." My eyes opened wider. "Can I open the drawer?" she said, and I replied, "Of course..."

As she slowly opened the drawer, full or rocks and other artifacts, she said, "Someone in here wants to talk." I glanced down at the pohaku, kapa beaters, 'ulumaika, and other assemblage of mea Hawai'i and my Heart began fluttering with excitement. "Is it okay if I move them around some?" she asked.  I said, "Sure!"

She began carefully shifting some of the rocks around, as she dug down deeper and deeper in the cabinet drawer. "Someone small..." she said, and after several minutes of shuffling around, her hand emerged holding a small rock. "Here she is!" she exclaimed.

I looked at the small rock in her hand and I knew it well. "This was the second voice I heard yesterday, that I thought was coming from the remains." she said, adding, "I had heard two voices and that is why I thought there were two individuals represented by the skeletal remains." I was relived that there was only one person in the box as I had remembered, but was now intrigued by this new experience.

"This is her!" She said as she held the stone up. "It is female...and she is very kolohe." she added. Kolohe is Hawaiian for mischievous. Astonished, I said, "Are you telling me there is a human soul in that rock?" "No..." she said, as she chuckled. "More like a nature Spirit."

"Oh, like a kupua nature spirit?" I responded. "Yes..." she said. Adding, "...and she is upset."

"Oh no." I said, "I know why she is upset."


"Because I made a groove in her back." I responded.

I knew this stone well. I had been up in Waiawa walking along the stream bed looking for rocks to make into stone artifacts. There were thousands of stones in the bed which was mostly dried up. I found a rough discoidal disk-like stone that I was able to rub on a large boulder for about fifteen minutes to produce a beautiful 'ulumaika game stone. I also knew Waiawa was sacred, and always spoke openly to the ancestors all along my journeys there. Another dear friend had grown up along the stream near where the Leeward Community College is now. She recalled her grandmother feeding a large Manō, or shark, which swam up the stream, and which would turn on its back and expose its white belly which her grandmother lovingly rubbed prior to feeding. I always tread there with great reverence.

As I left this time, with my 'ulumaika in hand, I made my way across the thousands of rocks strewn across the river bed, and one caught my eye. I little grey stone, with rounded smooth top. When I picked it up, I realized, it was naturally formed, but a perfect stone to make a lūhe'e with.

The lūhe'e, or octopus lure, was a traditional fishing method used by my ancestors. I had wanted to make or acquire one for many years to add to the teaching collection.  I had the perfect cowrie already, I just needed to make the counterbalanced stone. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was naturally shaped already. The only thing that was missing was the groove in the back in which to tie the cordage to keep the stone attached to the cowrie and the stick. I was so elated to have found this stone as it would save me lots of shaping work.

Now standing back in my office, I felt really bad as my friend held this stone in her hand. "No, she isn't upset about that." my friend replied. "Then she must be upset because she saw me naked in the shower." I quickly added. My friend and I both laughed, "What are you talking about?"

I said, "I took her into the shower with me to file the groove in her back. That is where I worked on her for a few days." My friend laughed again. "No, she isn't upset because of that. She is upset because she wants to work."

"What?" I asked, quickly thinking that I never finished the lūhe'e and maybe she wanted to help catch octopus. "What do you do with all these rocks and artifacts in the cabinet?" my friend asked me.

"I take them out to schools and share them with the children."

"Well, has she been out to the schools yet?" she asked.

I honestly had to think about it. Going back in my mind, I thought about when I had gone hiking, and when I last went to do a school presentation. I said out loud, "Wait a minute." I then walked over the drawer and started looking through the fifty to sixty items in the drawer, shuffling them around, taking a mental inventory. Then I looked at my friend, astonished, and said, "Oh my God. Everyone in the drawer has been out to schools. I found her after our last presentation at 'Iolani School, and I haven't gone out to another school since then." That little rock was the only rock in the drawer that hadn't been out to a school. I was amazed.

"She feels left out." my friend said with a big smile on her face. The she added, "Her name is Hi'ilei. What does Hi'ilei mean?"

"It means a cherished child. You know, one you carry on you, arms wrapped around your neck like a lei. Hi'ilei." She smiled. How beautiful." Then she added, "Li'ili'i...that means small right?" I said "Yes, small...tiny...why?"

"Well her name is Hi'ileili'ili'i..."

"How perfect" I said, "We go out to the even the preschool and kindergarten levels too. The smallest of well cherished children." We both laughed. I took Hi'ileili'ili'i and placed her on my desk. No more being in the drawer. It wasn't until the next morning, when I picked Hi'ileili'ili'i up, held her against my cheek,  and said "Good morning!" that I first noticed a little face on her...a tiny cute face.

I also remember her first school she went to. Cathedral Catholic Academy in Nu'uanu. I gave my presentation, and when it came to Hi'ileili'ili'i, I told her story. The children sat with wide eyes and looks of amazement. As soon as I let all of the children come up at the end, to touch everything and feel the Mana of our beloved kupuna, one girl made a beeline for Hi'ileili'ili'i. She was blonde and blue eyed. She held Hi'ileili'ili'i in her hand, and loving stroked her back with her finger as she walked around looking at all of the other collection. I thought that was so lovely. As other children tried to stroke Hi'ileili'ili'i with their fingers, the girl would open her palm, let them see her, and then carefully protect her.

I was too busy watching the boys picking up the spears, and the other heavy rocks, making sure nobody dropped a stone on their foot, when Hi'ileili'ili'i and her protector came up to me. The girl held her hand up so I could see. With a big smile on her face, she said, "You know, I am new at this school and I don't have many friends yet. But Hi'ilei is my friend." She said it with so much conviction and joy, that my Heart swelled with Love. I thought to myself, how Beautiful. "I said "Hi'ilei is so lucky to have you as a friend." She smiled and walked away bouncing on her toes with each step like a ballerina exiting the stage after the performance of her Lifetime. It was so precious to witness the pure Joy. Since then, Hi'ileili'ili'i has been out to many, many schools and I always share her story. But I will never forget her first school outing and first new friend.

Quite a few years passed, and our office was Blessed with a new staff member who also possesses gifts of 'ike pāpā lua. It wasn't until we formally introduced ourselves to each other, and I spoke openly about the gifts that I learned he possessed, that he opened up and shared a story about being in my work area a few days before, and signing some papers, and he looked into my office door window panel, as I was out that day, and he saw this smoky figure dancing around in my office, and peeking out at him through the glass. We both laughed. He said despite all of his experiences, he had never really seen that before and the hide-and-seek was a little freaky. We both laughed again. After talking with our other gifted friend, we all came to the same conclusion. It was Hi'ileili'ili'i and her kolohe ways.

I don't fully understand this World. I am always in awe. I don't fully understand time, space, matter, energy, and unseen forces. I know lots of Spirit stories from firsthand accounts, and many Spirited pohaku stories as well. All I do know is that I understand with all of my Heart that Hi'ileili'ili'i is real. She is a sentient being, who has found a new home and new friends. I don't know if she was waiting in that river bed for decades, or entered the stone moments before I picked her up. She makes my life more mysterious and enriching. More filled with wonder and amazement. And for at least one small girl at Cathedral Catholic Academy, she made her feel much more comfortable and Loved, in a new environment that was somewhat intimidating. Mahalo Hi'ileili'ili'i for bringing Love, Comfort and Goodness into this World. Love you my Beautiful little kolohe friend. And sorry you had to see me naked in the shower...


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