How to Stay Rooted: Aloha Aina

 Posted by on 08/29/2013
Aug 292013
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how to stay rooted

This past weekend, my wife and I went on a hike up at Aiea Heights Loop Trail.  It was a fairly easy hike and took us about 2 hours to finish the whole loop.

At the entrance of the park stood Keaiwa Heiau, a sacred temple.  Hawaiian view a heiau as a very sacred and holy place that deserves the utmost respect when present.  This specific temple was known as a heiau ho’ola or a healing and medicinal temple where the kahuna would treat the sick and injured.  It was also an area where the kahuna taught his students (haumana) in the practice of la’au lapa’au, medicinal healing using plants and prayers.

A light citrus fragrance ran through the forest from the lemon eucalyptus trees.  Tall Norfolk pines made a perimeter around open fields and picnic areas.  Birds could be heard in cool breeze passing through the forest.

As we began our way towards the entrance of the trail, in the distance behind us we overlooked the town of Aiea and could see Pearl Harbor. Every so often we had to take a moment and stop to enjoy the sight.

aiea heights loop trail

Then we came across an opening which gave a clear view of the valley.  It made me realize how lucky  I am to be living in such a beautiful place.  I get caught up in my days, the traffic, the heat, the high cost of living, but like my Papa would always say, “That’s life in the tropics.”

We can all lose sight of the the things that matter most to us. In the Hawaiian culture, when you are in the need for guidance it is important to look towards your ancestors and the land or aina.

Every so often I’m sure you’ve found yourself drifting off and feeling lost.  An obstacle smacks you on the forehead and you have a hard time catching your balance.

It happens.

During my hike at Aiea Loop Trail, I came across an area of trees where the roots rose above the surface.

stay rootedThere’s a Hawaiian saying, “Nana i ke kumu -  Look to the source.”

The elders used this saying and taught the youth to look towards their ancestors for answers and guidance they seek.  It also meant that what you are looking for could be found in the nature that surrounds you.

As I looked through my pictures from the hike, I kept coming back to the picture of the roots.  It made me wonder how old these trees were, how much they had to withstand, how many people just passed by them without even noticing them, how far do these roots  reach out and go down, etc.

Nature continues to teach me.  

So I will leave you with this thought -

It’s important to stay rooted.  When you strive to accomplish your goals and dreams things come up and pull you away from your path.  Don’t let it, stay rooted.  Be like the trees and sway in the strong winds, but keep rooted.  When the storms come with lightning, thunder, and rain, pushing through these storms only makes you grow stronger, so keep rooted.

Stay Rooted.  Be KU!

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