Even though the relationship between us and the support crew (including military folks) is sometimes tense, mostly it's good. Respectful. Feels pono. We like to think we're training them, especially the newcomers, to feel the valley in the same way we do. And to remind them that the sacredness of that valley will one day manifest for them individually.
These images, in chronological order, are photos taken by Uncle Sparky of what he saw as he waited for what he thought was an inevitable arrest. His supposed crime: protecting a sacred place from desecration.
We were joined by four extraordinary young people. Hats off to the archaeologists, Dave and Angus, who are always willing to share info about the valley. Army staff and contractors were mellow, too, including Charles, Les, Kam, and the Major. How can heat contribute to mellowness? I'll have to think about that, lol.
…By the time we got to the kiʻi pōhaku, however, we were already feeling the heat, and it was still early in the day. Summer was kicking our butts! So it was a short access. Good but short.
If there is no ahu, make one. If you visit a gravesite and the place needs care, mālama that place. Claim space for all those no longer here to do it themselves.
“…On behalf of the Eyes of Hawaii Photography Club I would like to extend my deepest mahalo and appreciation to Mālama Mākua for the cultural access on June 1st. It was a very informative and emotional experience to visit the sites and lay ho’okupu on the ahu…”
…It was a challenging time for many of those who heard him and who felt torn between their loyalty to and service in the U.S. military and also knowing the history of harm perpetrated on Mākua and other places by that same military force, which made promises that were not kept.
Makua this morning. It was both sunny and misty. The light in the valley made everything glow, including the students. And the flowers were redder than red!
Part I of this important post is about Mālama Mākua and a philosophy of healing and peace. It leads into Part II that describes how we think Mālama Mākua relates to Pōhakuloa. Some folks may not agree, but that's okay. We're all trying to figure out our kuleana and the best way to exercise it.
Vince consulted with the valley. The valley said leave it. He told her that. Showdown time. The archaeologist called the MPs and the MPs notified the cops. Lockdown. Ann Wright, who was still in the truck, was escorted out. The rest of us sat down in a shady area and waited for MPs to arrive. Sparky Rodrigues trekked up to the site, in obvious discomfort, to check on us and decided it was ridiculous and prepared to be carried out.
…Without hesitation she called for the military police [HPD came as well] and half of us ended up having a kind of sit-in for 2 hours waiting to probably get arrested…
We were just starting introductions when Boom! Lightning in the valley! Twice! Then thunder on the ridgeline townside, around eight seconds later.
Then we all trekked back to the pavilion for lunch and a couple folks took naps while the rest of us sat around talking story. Sparky Rodrigues would have called that ʻāina time, as opposed to ʻohana time, a term that would have been too limiting in this context.
The valley looked sunny and bright and cooled down. We had a small group today, so plenty of opportunities to share stories and jointly appreciate being in the presence of this valley. So appreciate that this aina's arms are always open to us.
Non-profits Mālama Mākua, Nā Kama Kai, Sustainable Coastlines and Protectors of Paradise combined efforts to host a giant celebration of 15 Years of Peace in Mākua (no live-fire training) with an all-day event on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. An estimated 800 people came by 9 am for a massive clean-up of Mākua Beach. Mālama Mākua then held a program under the big tent that included inspired speakers and mele by Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winners Ānuenue Punua and Starr Kalahiki. Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winners Kimié, Mike Love, Paula Fuga, Robi Kahakalau, along with others, then rocked the stage under the big tent for a free concert from 3 pm to 6:30 pm, with a talented musical line-up that would have cost concert goers big ticket prices at the Waikīkī Shell.
Sparky reminded us about ʻaina as family, so it felt like just one more day of getting together with the fam in a sacred place that reminds us of who we are and what our kuleana is to each other and to the valley that called all of us together today. He pono no.
Click below for pictures of some of the folks who stopped by the Mālama Mākua booth, as well as some of the sights, at the Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea celebration at Thomas Square in Honolulu on Sunday, July 29, 2018, as seen through the lens of Lynette Cruz.