Although I have lived in Boston for most of my life, I feel a mysterious connection to Molokai. I first came to Molokai in 1967 when I was living on Maui as a 21-year-old seeker of love, truth and beauty. I was drawn to Halawa Valley, having heard of its remote splendor and ancient history. I hitched rides along the Kamehameha Highway and then hiked the last few miles into the valley.
When I reached the overlook, I was astounded by the beautiful bay and verdant valley I saw below me.
Once a thriving community had lived, farmed and fished here. Yet now, as a result of tsunamis and social changes, it was virtually empty of human habitation. As I slept under the stars on the beach I could sense Halawa Valley’s loneliness and her longing for her children.
I dreamed that Halawa Valley would one day be reborn as a place where people could live in harmony with nature and relearn the original teachings of the ancestors.
This spring, 44 years after my first trip, I returned to Molokai with my wife Chris and stayed in a cottage in Honouliwai bay. We felt nourished by the natural beauty and deep spirit of Molokai.
We visited Halawa Valley and I hiked to the Mo`oula falls with our guide Josh Pastrana. To my surprise and joy I saw that Halawa is no longer lonely. Hawaiian people once again live in the valley, grow taro and teach the ancient ways of aloha.
We met Pilipo Solatario and he taught us about old Hawaii and shared his vision of Halawa Valley. His wisdom, warmth and sincerity were inspiring.
I also read a far-sighted document developed by island residents called Molokai: Future of a Hawaiian Island that holds a clear and beautiful vision for the Friendly Isle.
Back here in Boston, Chris and I teach and write about Conscious Earth, our vision of the happy, healthy, sustainable kind of world we all want to live in (visit gerzon.com). We hope to return to Molokai one day and offer a Conscious Earth Visioning workshop that includes the wisdom of local teachers such as Pilipo and other kumu and kupuna. I believe Molokai and her people have much to teach today’s world. I can envision Molokai as a unique Pacific educational center for the planet.
During our visit to Molokai’s island of aloha we met many friendly, goodhearted people. Mahalo for your kindness. We felt your struggles, conflicts and your passionate desire to protect the land and keep Molokai authentic.
We learned how important it is to dream good dreams, believe in those dreams and act on those dreams. May your dreams of an abundant Molokai (Molokai `Aina Momona) and everyone’s dreams of a peaceful, creative planet come true.