The sheer scale of the stone outcropping rising above the wetlands surprised me the first time I walked out into Kawainui after hearing the mo’olelo about the mo’o Hauwahine. Most people were drawn to perch atop her favorite sunning spot and enjoy her commanding view or to see her in the pohaku itself. I did enjoy both as well on my breaks from painting, but I felt most drawn to the rock itself and the protective nature this view provided–being in full sun, yet in the lee from the wind, sound and sight. Waterstains and lichen embellished its surface and I felt at peace
Kamani and Kula’ila’i
When Kumu Kila told us the mo’olelo of the wisdom of their kupuna in saving their ancestral burial grounds the beautiful kamani tree on the beach took on a new light in my eyes. I’ve always thought these trees are elegant and beautiful but this one took on a different meaning and power for me as I saw it as a brave heroine who helped save her kupu ka ‘aina. The ledge of Kula’ila’i touching the waves in the background also gave me the impression of sister spirits there to guard the keiki and baby fish, as the shallow pools protect a nursery of fish and keiki play between the boulder and the sea. It has become my new favorite beach since being brought here so my gratefulness takes on many layers–of the story, the tree and rocks and water, and the simple pleasure of enjoying the beach.
Peter Murray wanted to do a pit firing on the beach at one of the wahi pana. He settled on Kea’au and after I was done for the day painting, I joined his ohana and Kimberly Howsley for a BBQ at sunset and built the fire. I placed some of my pieces along with his, and these 3 Seeds of Life when they were pulled from the ashes an hour before midnight seemed to truly have been born there, at that wahi pana. The stars were particularly beautiful and clear that night and the next morning when I could see them in the light, the subtle markings of yellow, red, silver and all shades of grey to lava black seemed to signal the transfer of the ‘aina to these handmade pieces of clay. The sea salt in driftwood produces these colors on the bisqueware giving unexpected beautiful results. In this way it also was similar to my watercolor work, where I work with the water and its properties not trying to fight or control it but allowing natural properties to collaborate in the process of making it into art.