I am told that there is a distance of 26,000 miles around the Earth’s equator – that dead center mark among the latitudinal grid lines we studied back in fourth grade. We, who live in proximity of that equator, tend to measure things most easily from its reference point. Our seasonal sunrise and sunset varies no more that an hour – from winter to summer. We get a good view of the Southern Cross in the night sky. We take our sunscreen seriously – and our daily consumption of water also…a necessity of the equatorial proximity.
By the equatorial measure of distance, ‘Iokepa Hanalei ‘Imaikalani and I have circumnavigated the earth more than three times in three years – but all of that distance within the continental United States. We’ve put 82,000 car miles on our black, 1998, Camry with the gold wheels – all in service to the Return Voyage mission and the Grandmothers Whisper message. In between those miles, we’ve left the car in the Washington State countryside, in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, and returned home to the Hawaiian Islands – to Kaua’i – for nurture, respite, and recalling the source of the aboriginal Hawaiian wisdom we disseminate.
At the end of this month, after just six months at home on Kaua’i, we will (with hesitance and regret) leave once again. In these past months, we’ve had three amazingly well-attended Grandmothers Whisper book events in public spaces on three distinct corners of the Island. Daily: we have reconnected with, mingled with, and shared meals with every ethnicity, social grouping, and occupational pocket of Hawai’i. Daily: we have listened to friends and strangers (in tents, on beaches, at the pinnacle of the volcano) who inhabit this unique place in the middle of the Pacific. They have filled our days, our minds, and naturally our hearts as well.
On December 27, 2011 we will take all that we are and all that they are; we will fly into Seattle’s airport and we will begin once again the act of speaking both the Native Hawaiian ancestral wisdom and describing the social, spiritual and political challenges that face Hawaii’s peoples now, to the caring people of the United States.
One more time we begin the book tour with Grandmothers Whisper. So our work – the act of listening compassionately, speaking when invited, and representing as best we can, a way of living that the Native Hawaiian culture modeled for the world for more than 12,000 years – continues across the American continent.
Again, we depend on the invitations of interested folk.
Keep an eye on our schedule page at: