While in Hawaii I had lots of dreams, sometimes remembering three or four a night. Here is one. I’m in a small boat with a few others. A humpback whale comes close to the other side of the boat. Then, it swims under the boat and surfaces right next to me. Its eye is very near mine, and it touches me with a flipper and allows me to touch it. We communicate mentally that neither of us has touched the other species before. It then goes and tows the boat for a while.
We do not see any whales on the whole trip, but this dream was a gift.
We were not able to make our usual pilgrimage to Kilauea Iki because the trail down to the crater was closed off on both ends by rock slides from the last eruptions. A ranger let us know about a much less-known trail to another crater bordered by a field of lava trees. It was remarkable, but I did not get the same sacred feeling I always get at Iki. Still, it is Pele’s turf. I picked and tossed in some ohelo berries as an offering to Pele and prayed that she help me with my questions about what it means to carry fire. Who better than Pele to deal with fire!
On the next leg of our healing pilgrimage (see Part 27), we spent a few days in Hawi, which we’ve only ever driven through before. Our friend Malama and his wife were temporarily caretaking a farm there. It’s so wonderful to have local connections when you travel. Malama took us to a most beautiful healing place, a pu’u honua, or refuge, that is being restored by its caretakers. We were alone in that powerful and gorgeous place. No tourist would ever know about it or find it without a local guide.
Barry had wanted to respond to some links Malama’s wife had sent us that wove in and through some intense conspiracy theories, often with a right-wing flavor. Sitting in this quiet, healing garden, we were able to enter deep conversation. I was impressed with how Barry respectfully spoke about his reactions. What I found most interesting was that he (with one addition by me) came up with some adages that encapsulated his thinking:
· Believe nothing, entertain possibilities (courtesy of Caroline Casey).
· Judge a tree by its fruits.
· Follow the money.
· Not my circus, not my monkeys.
I’m not quite sure what this means as far as the pilgrimage goes, but it was a significant moment in a significant place.
Entering the final phase of the trip, back on the Kona coast, but south to coffee country, some of my old symptoms began to reappear. A few days of lung issues (we had been in fierce wind, practically sand-blasted by it) and the old stomach two-step danced back in. Barry hurt his neck body surfing, and we spent a morning in the ER. He was, fortunately, not seriously hurt.
We then spent several days at Manini Beach on Kealakekua Bay. I’ve always loved it there, but Barry found out some fascinating things about it from a local woman. It had been a swimming place for ali’i (royal) women only, and a place where they gave birth. It was kapu (taboo) to others. Sitting there, I had a nonverbal conversation with a palm tree, realizing I had not been attending to trees at all on this trip. It just told me, “Accept.” Yes, well, that is the work.
As I mentioned, we didn’t see whales (or dolphins) the whole trip (turtles and wild boar, yes, sea mammals, no). But our last morning Barry wanted to swim one last time, so we stopped at Pahoehoe Beach Park in Kona, and there the dolphins were – several pods of them, some of whom stayed out in view for well over an hour. It was such a lovely little last Hawaii blessing. Watching the dolphins leap and spin, I thought of my last four-card SoulCollage® reading, which ended with my card for joy, which includes a laughing Buddha and leaping dolphins.