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I am thankful to the Lord above for many things. I am glad that He saw fit to bless me with a husband who loves me enough to want me home with these two precious kids of ours. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to be born to two island born and raised parents. I am blessed to live in a safe neighborhood. Glad to be away from the hustle and bustle that is anywhere in Los Angeles county. I am glad and thankful for many things, but the one thing that I am lucky to be is Hawai'ian. I am grateful that the good Lord above thought enough of me and my life to bless me with an ancestry rich and vibrant like the many rainbows that come after a newly fallen rain. I am blessed that I was gifted with this spirit within my heart and soul called aloha. I truly am blessed, as I am a child of the land, a real, true blue, in-the-heart-and-soul (and especially in the stew) keiki o ka'aina. I grew up with plenty of aunties who taught me to cook and to string leis and all those cool things that made being Hawai'ian so...Hawai'ian.

However, the one thing that I have been so blessed with, the magic that is so much a part of being Hawai'ian, of who and what I am and all that I aspire to be is that thing that the media have sullied. I do not wear plastic grass skirts and neither will I don a coconut bra. Why? What for? I am adept at weaving dozens of ti leaves into a skirt and I can wear a pa'u top or a peasant top or a tshirt or even no top! I am a hula dancer. My mother started me off at the tender age of five, as did her mother with her. My grandmother's mother did the same with my grandma (eh, Gramma...pe he'a 'oe, Kupuna Wahine?). Hula is a family thing for me. So, once again, I need to let the rest of the world and especially my worldwide Hawai'ian ohana know that there is sincere and exhuberant joy in me, and it shows itself when I dance hula.

I dance to celebrate my heritage. I dance to tell stories that were written long before I was even a good thought in my father's head, or he a thought in his father's head. I dance to let the world know that though I may not be blessed with things such as a fancy car or a lot of money, I am blessed with the ability to pass on history and tell stories of the past without uttering a word. I can talk with my hands. Heck, I can sing with my hands and I can give the world a different take on what the meaning of a man's love for his betrothed really is and can be. Like the guitarist makes his instrument sing, my hands sing with silence. I can be serious or funny, sad, happy, anything, because I can dance hula. God blessed me and many like me with that thing that makes an island girl such a mystery, that thing that turns a once shy boy into a warrior, if even only for a moment's time.

I am not good at a lot of things, but I am good at celebrating my heritage. I am good at measuring just enough shoyu into the big pot so that my stew comes out just right enough to broke-da-mout'. I am good at teaching others how to string a double carnation lei. Good at teaching my daughter's little friends their names in our beautiful and mysterious language. I am good at looking into the soul of others and seeking out that thing that is missing, that thing that I possess called aloha, and cheerfully I share it with them and anyone else who may be in need of it.

I am good at being a proud Hawai'ian. I wear flowers in my hair daily because to me everyday is like a big lu'au that everyone is invited to. Everyday I am Hawai'ian, and everyday I have cause to celebrate. When we are children, we are taught the importance of not taking life for granted. It is finite and one day we will step into another place where there is constant kanikapila in the park, constant dancing and constant, ever-flowing aloha, not just for me or for you, but for all. Everyday is like a big Ho'olaule'a and everyday there is something to look forward to called tomorrow. Everyday that I live and breathe there is always a reason to dance, always a reason to have cheer, always a reason to be.( And it's pretty cool to be able to koholo and ami and 'u'ehe to let the world know these things!)

I have much aloha in me, and I praise and thank God above for the very special way that He has blessed me with, so that I may share it with the rest of the world. Praise the Lord, for He saw fit to allow me to convey a message of aloha straight from the heart, a message so pure and real and good and ever flowing.

Thank you for reading my exhuberant rambling. Please excuse me, I have to leave now. I have a hula class to teach.

I pray thee, bless me and grant me wide territories. May thy hand be with me, and do me no harm, i pray thee, and let me be free from pain... (1 Chronicles 4:10)

ONIPA'A ... Stand tall... be proud... remain strong.



About Author




I live in the high desert community of Silver Lakes, located in the tiny town of Helendale, Ca. I have two keikis, Kahaku and Maile, and one beeg haole named John (yes, when he makes me mad I call him "EH! KEONI!). I write, paint and dance hula, and I can make serious broke-da-mout' stew and poi!!!

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