La’au- ma lalo o ka lani po (La’au- under the night sky)

It was my cousin Jenny who instilled in me the knowledge that to best understand the mana of a place, you needed to sleep under the stars. In this way the place would begin to speak to you and reveal itself.”

It is usually in the late hours, long after darkness has filled the night sky, that we are revealed those things that are deepest. It is in the quiet that we are able to hear our own thoughts and are most aware of the “ha” or breath of life. It is also the time when dreams and visions come to us. On occasion these dreams are revealed in such a way and with such clarity that we are given the type of revelation that helps shape the destiny and purpose of our own existence. Potentially being of greater worth than any other resource we are capable of obtaining, it is this kind of “ike” that can reach out beyond the individual and if the mana is powerful enough, even reach out to inspire future generations.

For anyone who has spent nights at La'au, so great is the mana of this place that such “ike” is possible. It is the revealing of that which is ancient and the mana'o of countless generations that have passed before us that bears witness upon these sacred grounds. At La'au one can feel the same Pelu wind that revealed itself centuries ago to Paka'a, Kihapiilani and Keau and possibly the same Pelu wind that was present when Pele and Hi’iaka visted this place.

At times the Pelu wind is quiet only revealing a whisper of the mo'olelo of this place, but for those who have come to know her, they have also learned to never be fooled by her gentle side. La'au is a powerful place and not all nights are quiet and blissful. Perhaps serving as some sort of a cleansing ritual and without warning, I have literally been blown away and washed away under La'au's night sky, making very real the story of Paka'a when King Keawanuiaumi ignored the voice of the child Kuapaka’a and attempted to sail from this place only to return to shore humbled by the power of La'au.

Despite such power, for tonight at least, I settle back and allow my na’au to be quieted. On this cool, calm evening I lie on the beach looking up to the stars, contemplating the depths of the heavens. I can see the glow on the horizon and know that soon these stars will be replaced by the luminescence of a full moon that is about to come and show itself high above the ku'ahu, inviting the presence of Ke Akua.

The shimmer of Peleohi'iaka begins to appear and a new stillness is felt. The ocean sleeps and the ancient creatures find refuge in the peace of this malie evening….such is the beauty of La’au.

Mahalo Ke Akua for protecting this special place and mahalo to all past and present who have served as stewards of Molokai. In this new year and in the years that lie ahead, may we persevere to malama this sacred island 'O Molokai nui a Hina.

Steve Morgan

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