The thing that none of us thinks about when we are forced by Spirit to walk through the proverbial fires in life is that our Awareness is made bigger and we are served with Spiritual gifts and the sharpening of them through that very flame.
It is not about who has gone through more than whoever else. Life is not meant to only be sunshine and roses, but more a collection of experiences meant to teach us who we are in this lifetime. Who we are in this lifetime is what we are supposed to find out. How we get there is not ever readily available for us to know, as who we are is meant to be created. We cannot depend on the opinions of others to create for us the people who we are intended to be. Other people are meant to help us get there, to teach us who we are not, and to remind us that we are not alone on our Path.
Yet, it is not always going to be a human teacher. Our Aumakua (Guides) come to us in many forms, and lately, that form has been through avian creatures, specifically birds. Lots of us have had encounters with our feathered friends this week, and also with those same friends who bear 6 or 8 legs. None the less, more and more of us have become aware to the idea that somehow, that we see these creatures all the time is one thing, but that we have each seen them and that each time that we had seen them, it was our Souls that took notice.
It came to me, personally, in the form of these creatures, in regards to a loss of energy that was great in terms of weightiness, in terms of things that have no clear explanation other than that it was just meant to be and was meant to be because it is simply a part of the Path which we each travel, on our own, but totally not by ourselves. When I thought about the sheer depth of the loss, I also thought about what, in those same terms, I’d also lost. It used to be sad to me that I never really knew my mother’s father better than I had, but given the things that I’d known about this person, the one thing that always stood out the most to me was his gift for music. Yes, he was also a magnificent golfer, but that is not a gift that is quite the same for me in the way that the ability to create beautiful tones which become music, literally, to the ears, is something that, as someone who still loves to dance hula, is needed by all of us, but in particular, dancers.
Realize that the loss suffered was not mine, even as to this very moment, I can literally feel that loss as though it were my very own. In that loss, though, I could also sense the loss that I had not realized was mine, which was my own Tutu Papa, a man most people only knew as “Uncle Bill.” While I did not know this man as well as I perhaps should have, what I did know of him was his music. The thing that used to make me sad was the idea that, as a Kumu Hula, my grandfather and I never had the chance to even connect on that level, because when he passed away, I was not yet the teacher, neither haumana…I was simply just a dancer who was in love with both the dance, and more, the music which accompanied it.
While several others were granted the sight of the birds, it was their song which captured me, much more than did just the sight of them. I could hear them singing like I had never in the past, and I could sense their happiness, their joy, and for a moment, given the actual thing that came to pass not too very long ago at all, I could also sense, not just the presence of the recent loss, but more, my Tutu Papa’s presence in the music that was nature. It was in this …thing…that seems to me to still be a bit of a mystery, the thing that happened in another’s life, that my own awareness of just exactly how connected we all really are to one another.
As perplexing as it may seem, and perhaps there may one or more of you who will not “get it” in terms of sensing another’s grief personally, it is not the why, neither the how, or anything “human being” that we must understand outside of the human reaction to our losses, because in those losses are the golden pieces of the puzzle which never is completed. In the hugeness of the energy that was of loss, there was also a brand new Awareness which, if we have paid attention, have bothered to want to see what other people might not want to see, has grown, and not only grown, but has grown exponentially.
How my Grandfather told me he cares still
I make no secret of it that I was lucky enough to be incarnated into this lifetime surrounded by and loved by many talented musical people. On both sides of my family I am blessed with people who can play an instrument, who can sing, and who can bring intangible gifts to all of us. I have always loved music, always been drawn toward those who are creatively gifted in a musical sense, because I have also always known that music is the thing that any dancer needs. I have always danced. Anyone and everyone who knows me knows this about me. I have always loved to dance, for fun, and of course, professionally, any dance style that I can replicate and make my own, with the one that I have Loved the very most since I was a tiny little girl of three years old, which is Hula.
Hula was, is, will never not be the music which is my own Soul’s musical talent. Without Hula in my life, I am not sure that I would be who I am now, really, because Hula has always been the way that my own people have communicated with their gods and is the way that I communicate, even now, with those very same gods, with my own ‘Aumakua (yes, even my Tutu Papa) and of course, when there is an audience, the rest of my own world, right at that moment. What these last two weeks have brought to my Awareness is that, if we pay attention to the things that stand out to us the most, in those things and in those thoughts which come from Awareness of those things, we find out that we are still in the company of the ‘Aumakua and of the people who are no longer physically with us in this consciousness.
While I will not state what loss was suffered, I will state that what is not yet realized by any one of the people who do know, is the Awareness which was created that has not yet been discovered in the manner which I am positive it will be seen by those who know what I am saying here. The reason that I know this is simple, and was contained in a birthday gift to my only daughter, who is named Grace, but in this instance, I will refer to her as “My Maile.” “Maile,” pronounced “My Lei,” asked for an ukulele. Maile has always wanted to play a stringed instrument. She has always been, just like her mother has always been, somewhat in love with music, even preferring what is counted as her own version in her own generation’s version of metal music.
Maile has always had a very real closeness with my younger cousin, Drew, who is a professional musician with the indie metal band, “Black Oil.” She loves “Uncle Drewcifer,” and sometimes, they jokingly call each other “Uncle Drewcifer and Gracifer.” Yes, I know…some of you reading this are tsk-tsking me, and that is fine. Those are just terms of endearment between the two of them. She has always loved him, like I loved with all the “little cousin” energy that I can, another man from the same family which Drew hails from, whose name is Jimmy and is the eldest of those cousins of mine from that ohana. My Maile, like I was with Jimmy, was drawn to Drew because of the sameness of sibling like energy. I won’t say that it is because of Drew that she so loves live metal music shows, loves to mosh (even though she comes home looking like she has been moshing…much like her mother used to back in the ’80’s…yup…hi, Heidi…haha…’aye mijo’…bwaahahahahaha), loves everything that rocks a person to the very core of their Soul.
Maile, like me, loves music, loves being with her musical pals as much as I truly love and adore what limited time I have with mine. (Hi guys! I Miss you all…I Love You All !) Maile, like me, started learning Hula at the same age that I did – 3 years old – but did not “catch” me dancing like I caught my mother. I actually showed her how, then when the time came and I started Hula i Lalo Ka La (“Dance Beneath the Sun”), she knew what her little friends did not and was a willing participant in teaching them what she knew.
While I grew and continue to grow this Love which is contained within me that is the very essence of my Soul – Hula – my own daughter’s Love is for the creation of the music, all kinds of music, not that a dancer dances to, but that a musician plays. Just as I was very interested in the “count of 8” in more modern styles of dance, versus what is the “count of 4,” in Hula, my Maile is very interested not only in playing, but in also being able to read, to understand, and yes, eventually create her own music. While I will not lie – a little piece of my Soul aches for my baby girl to want to dance Hula again, there is a huge piece of me that is jumping up and down, “metal horns” WAY UP, for my girl, the one with holes in her lips, an attitude and of course, a Soul comprised of that one thing every kid, no matter their ethnic origins, is born with.
That One Thing is the Soul which is Aloha.
The way that my own Awareness was made wider these last two weeks was contained within what were the losses, because in those losses and according to what is my own experience with those and the ones which preceded it, not only showed up in the songs which were the birds, the flight path they chose, the fact that the wind did what it does when my Nana is saying something to me, the idea that upon the thought of certain thoughts and energies, certain creatures show up in our awareness to remind us that we are so not alone, that those who have passed onto the other side are still very much here with us, still walking beside us and letting us know so in many different ways.
In my case, it was the little black ukulele that my Maile got for her birthday, was the breeze wafting over my head and which carried hummingbirds toward me, hummingbirds who have always reminded me of my grandmother, Katherine, and who daily give me a reason to know that when others pass, they are not gone, because their Love for us never goes away, just like ours for them also does not.
We all dearly need to take into our own selves the signs which are given and which are for us alone. Once we can believe that that which seems to be coincidental is not so coincidental after all, and that sometimes, our Loved Ones who have crossed over in the physical sense, in their Soul form, are still with us, our Awareness of things gets wider. Just because they have changed form, it does not mean that they have changed themselves in any other manner. They simply have become the evolved form of the Love which they, themselves, are…which really, we all are.
Whenever I hear my friend, Owana Salazar, singing in her beautiful tones, whenever I hear any of the Pahinui ohana’s music, and yes, whenever it is on the breeze which is gentle like the strumming of slack key guitar, whenever it is that I hear the singing of the birds who visit my Awareness, I am reminded that they do not leave us…they just evolve. I am reminded that my Nana sings to me still, that my Tutu Papa is still playing beautiful music, and is doing so through means that, without a greater heightened sense of Awareness, I might not know or even have an inclination toward this idea that yes, indeed, they are still very much with me, with all of us.
Without a heightened sense of Awareness brought to us by the big giant personal losses we each have had to endure, none of us would know that the answers are contained there within our personal Awareness.
I Love You All…
Hey…a girl’s gotta have SOME fun, sometimes, right? Haha…actually, I try to have fun as much as I can, but when it involves Hula? It is SO on!
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