Tuesday, January 26, 2010


  "Happy January 25th".  That is what I first heard this morning from the Hawaiian DJ on the radio.  And a happy January 25th it was.

  Aside from the perfect weather, I was greeted with the most uplifting attitudes from the Hilo locals.  Now, when I began this voyage I had reminded myself to be careful, always observe my surroundings, and don't trust anyone.  I've been told that you never know when someone could trick you, hurt you, or steal from you.  But it appears I need to instill a little more faith in the Hawaiians.
  The man at the gift shop gave us precise directions, and just in case, his phone number if we got lost.  The woman at the counter of Cafe 100 where we ordered our Loco Specials (I ate Spam and it's delicious!-especially with rice, eggs, and gravy--so I give in Dan) gave us free bumper stickers.  The sketchy looking man at the bus station picked flowers off a hidden tree and handed them out to the girls to put in their hair.  And everywhere people waved.

  The energy on this island is flowing.

  A few days ago I attended a lecture on the history of Hawaii taught by Scott.  The best thing I took away from it was the Hawaiian term "mana".  Mana is a term used to describe a spiritual energy.  It can be found mostly in the gods, but also in the earth, in people, in anything that is capable.  It is what makes the hands on the clocks of our watches move.
  I fell in love with the idea of mana and decided that when I ventured into port I would try to find it.  At least my own version of it.  Today was the beginning.

  The botanical gardens were astounding.  There was a peaceful energy everywhere.  Flowers and trees from all over the world were grown here in a paradise together.  I couldn't stop touching everything.  I wanted to feel it.  When I left, I was calm.

  Later today I went to a luau hosted by the students of University of Hawaii at Hilo.  There performances were so wonderful to watch.  The time and energy they spent in rehearsing these rituals definitely showed through and we all were able to witness what happens when people care to maintain tradition.  But, my favorite performance was from Dono, a young boy I met at the luau who just turned six years old today.  Dono walked right up to me and started dancing.  He felt the music, he smiled, and he danced his little heart out.  A pure spirit can always brighten your day.  I think Dono has some mana.

  Today was the first day of a voyage of discovery.  More mana to come.

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