The Dawning of a New Time

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Mililani B Trask: Trustee Hawaiʻi Island

Aloha, ʻOhana.

Many significant events heralded the closing of the 2022 year. On Hawaiʻi Island, Tūtū Pele and Poliʻahu appeared in unison, signaling the dawning of a new time. We also experienced the passing of many great Hawaiian leaders, who have been our guides, kumu and kūpuna. Among their number are Princess Kekaulike Kawānanakoa, Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli and Aunty Edith Leinaʻala Kanakaʻole Floyd, the first-born daughter of Kumu Hula Edith Kanakaʻole. I experienced these events with awe and great sadness. I was fortunate to have had a discussion with a kūpuna here in Hilo about these events. She told me this: “When our goddesses Pele and Poliahu appear together (fire and ice emerge), it is an auspicious and significant time because the eruption opens a portal to the ‘lewalani’ (the pinnacles of the heavens) and the Akua looks down to behold the beauty of the earth. When this occurs, spirits that are earthbound and preparing to depart, are freed to ascend through the portal and go home. In such times, we should remember that they go to join their ʻaumakua and will harken and come to kōkua and strengthen us when we call them through prayer.”How do we honor these Hawaiian leaders and kūpuna? By recalling their legacy and continuing their advocacy for the protection of our ʻāina and culture. It is the practice of aloha ʻāina and mālama ʻāina. As we greet the new year, let us reaffirm our commitment to these principles. In the coming year, when we pray “Nā ʻAumakua,” we will invoke their strength and protection to advance our efforts to achieve justice for our people and the lāhui.

We go forward.

Mālama Pono, Mililani