Hawai'i as I know it

By InkedCanvas

Puddles of morning rain collect in the heel impression of slippers lined along the stairs. Old broken down trucks, rest amongst over-grown weeds. Ferns hanging from Plumeria branches, heavy with sky fallen water. The scent of ʻAwapuhi and Puakenikeni linger just out of reach, tempting a pursuit of the source. Bright yellows, blues and reds pop from the clustered Bird of Paradise. Lush green lies over every inch of undisturbed earth. Stilt legged Kōlea pick through Pili grass to fill their ʻōpū.

Joy and laughter echo the long days of youth, memories that are encouraged by the sun-warmed air. Crashing waves pound the rocky shore to welcome the brave and non-timid. Layers of dried salt on the skin of dark brown children returning home with water logged ears. Gentle rote begs for them to return tomorrow.

Daddyʻs bowl of paʻiʻai positioned in the center of the dining table, the main attraction of every meal. ʻOhana gathered around Tūtū’s potent Vinha D'ahlos. Pāʻina and lūʻau fill the calendar, being sure not to miss a celebration.

Star scattered skies tell stories of generations before. Soft Kona breeze sweeps through the porch. Christmas lights that hang year-round lend splashes of color onto the koa and rattan furniture. Aunties and Uncles, cousins and friends, find a space suitable for relaxation. Babies sprawl over their Tūtū Man’s belly, rising and falling with each breath. Melodious hums and strums float though the crowd, praising the beauty of our ʻāina and our people. Tears make a gradual decent on the cheeks of kūpuna, as they recall the Hawaiʻi of their youth.

Hawaiʻi is my home, my piko. I know the importance of Kalo and our older brother Hāloa. I appreciate the growth of a new ʻaʻaliʻi sprout, the life of a honu and the death of a ʻIwa. I grew alongside the ʻōhiʻa lehua and pikake. I continue to grow from the soil of my land to the piko of my soul, here in Hawai‘i.

‘Awapuhi – type of flower/plant (Hedychium coronarium)
Puakenikeni – type of flower/plant (Fagraea berteriana)
Kōlea – type of bird (Pluvialis fulva)
Pili – type of grass (Heteropogon contortus)
ʻōpū – belly, stomach
paʻiʻai – pounded and undiluted taro
‘Ohana – family (nuclear and/or extended)
Tūtū – grandparent
Pāʻina / lūʻau – party, festivities, celebration, gathering
koa – type of tree/wood (Acacia koa)
ʻāina – land (general idea of flora and fauna)
kūpuna – elder, ancestors
piko – literal & metaphorical umbilical cord
kalo – taro plant, staple food for Hawai‘i
Hāloa – first human born to the Hawaiian Gods
ʻaʻaliʻi – type of plant (Dodonaea viscose)
honu – type of sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)
‘Iwa – type of bird (Fregata minor palmerstoni)
ʻōhiʻa lehua – type of tree/flower (Metrosideros polymorpha)
pīkake – type of flower / Arabian Jasmine (Jasminum sambac)

Hawai'i as I know it

Created: Mar 19, 2010

Tags: hawaii, home

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