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Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’


Nanabozhu decided to visit Maui on the spur of the moment. What he didn’t know was that Maui decided to visit Red Lake at the same time. So they missed each other. Nonetheless, Nanabozhu had a great time on Maui’s island. This morning Nanabozhu decided to greet the sun at the top of Haleakala, and take the bike tour down. He thought it was kinda funny that the tour guides slept in the van because the mountain was covered in clouds and they knew that no one would see the sun that morning from the top of the mountain.

Nanabozhu decided to check out the gift shop since it was open  during the time the sun rose. He chanced upon a Hawaiian ranger chastising a white tourist who had (N. supposed) complained about not being able to see the sunrise. The ranger said in her best berating voice. “I’m Hawaiian, and we are taught from when we are very young to discern things with all six of our senses, not just our sight. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a duty to perform.” And with that she left.

You go girl!” Nanabozhu thought. The term “Haoli”, coming to mind.  Outsiders would always be Haoli to a native people. There would always be that sense of otherness between them. He had to smile at the irony. Here, Nanabozhu was haoli.

He then followed her outside to a crowd of about six hundred people who had gathered, and this is what he saw and said:

tour

Cold impenetrable fog whips their hair.

A crowd and Japanese tour couples stand huddled.

Their windbreakers occasionally wrapped in ineffectually thin blankets.

Waiting in vain for a visible sunrise.

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stratus clouds embrace Lanai

silhouettes before a setting sun

their edges chiaroscuro

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Nanabozhu quietly got out of the bed and stole out of the room. He went outside to await the dawn. When the sun appeared, so did the voice of Haumea whisper on the early morning zephyr.
 
“I can’t stay long Nanabozhu as I hear Pele rousing, but remember this; I am the living Earth mother here and the lava is my blood.” and just that quickly the whisper faded.
 
As Pele approached, Nanabozhu could see that Pele had put on the appearance of her beautiful self. “Shall I show you the caldera today? Tourists aren’t allowed at its edge but as you can see, I have special privileges.
 
On their walk there, Nanabozhu and Pele walked hand in hand and started talking about how life would be now that they were hitched. “I look forward to showing you Red Lake for our honeymoon.” Nanabozhu commented.
 
“ I would really love that,” Pele answered, “But I’m afraid I can’t leave the island because my people depend on me to control the volcano.”
 
“What!?” Nanabozhu cried incredulously as they reached the edge of the caldera. Large plumes of lava blurped out of the caldera. Heat waves rose from it as well as the red-white light illuminated their faces. “I must go back to Red Lake soon, as my people depend on me as well!” Nanabozhu was anguished. So much so, that Pele folded her arms and turned slightly away from him because it was hard for her to bear.
 
And then what Haumea had said hit home. “I cannot live like this!” Nanabozhu cried. It will upset the natural order of things!” Nanabozhu dove into the lava, and with a flare, he was gone.
 
Pele just had enough time to turn back and see his toes disappearing into it. “Nanbabozhu!” she screamed. But it was too late. She and the volcano both erupted at the same time, she in her surprise, her grief, and the Kilauea in reaction to her. She must have developed strong feelings for Nanabozhu in the short time they were together because the eruption was powerful. Great clouds of ash were thrown into the air. Ejecta rained down around the caldera and a great flow of lava ran through the park and down to the ocean.
 
Now you might think this is the end of the story but that’s not the case. You see Haumea said that the earth was alive, as was the lava which was its blood, so Nanabozhu realized that since it was living thing, he could transform into it, which he did when he dove into it. And when the lava reached the water which also was a part of the earth, and alive–kind of like its lymphatic system– Nanabozhu transformed his essence into it.
 
Nanabozhu then made a series of changes until once again he walked out of the water in his human form and onto the beach near his haole house to find five figures waiting for him. There stood, Haumea, Kuwahailo, Maui, Hi’iaka and Kane.
 
“We knew that you would figure it out, but that was quick, even for us!” Hi’iaka said and smiled at him.
 
“But you must go now, before Pele finds out,” Maui said, “or we’ll never hear the end of it. It was great spending this time with you bra,” as he gave Nanabozhu a hug and some manly slaps on the back, which Nanabozhu returned.
 
The other’s hugged him as well and said their goodbyes. Finally, Haumea said, “If you will turn into a Canadian goose, Kane will provide the jet stream to aid and speed you on your way home.”
 
This is how Nanabozhu found himself looking at the sunset over Red Lake that evening. He pondered  this latest experience, so close in time, and yet so far away.
 
Because of Nanabozhu’s Hawaiian adventure, the lava is now a little redder on the big island. And because of his experiences with Pele–even though he hasn’t changed his behavior–at least Nanabozhu now thinks twice about what he does.
 
And that’s the end of this story.

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