Monday, June 29, 2009

Finally I saw it: the opening in the bamboo that I had missed the two other times I’d gone up that road. I parked the car across the road--as per my instructions
--and headed up the trail. I had been told some water pipes were along the trail, so I knew I must be in the right area. I walked up to a stream, knowing that somewhere along the property was a sixty-foot waterfall. I thought about crossing the stream, and actually did get my feet wet, but halfway across the stream I was stopped by an invisible hand. I stood there, letting the cool water rush over my feet, teetering on the edge of a drop-off and peered into the forest. I could see the semblance of a trail, but no water pipes--and then there was the issue of the invisible hand stopping me--so I turned around and made my way back to the safety of the bank. I walked back the way I came for a bit and then veered off the trail, following a water pipe, and headed across an open spot near the stream. I heard rustling in the bamboo and all I could think of was the wild pigs that live in the forest--something I sure didn’t want to meet face-to-face. I stopped dead in my tracks, feeling the hand of the spirits pushing me back to the trail again. On the way back toward the road I saw a trail off to the right. “Oh what the heck? I’ll go up a little ways and see…” and wouldn’t you know it?
I could see the ruins through the trees. I stopped and thanked the spirits for leading me to Kani-a-ka-pupu. I approached slowly, drawing back the veil of time respectfully. I saw the ti plants at the corners and lining the cobblestone approach to what would have been the front door. When there is no resistance, then I know I am accepted--as long as I keep my respect--and I walked around the lava stone and plaster walls and the piles of rocks where the walls have fallen into heaps. I tried to imagine the parties that must have been held there--the forest ringing with music, the smell of the baked pig wafting from the imu The story goes that there was once a party of over 10,000--“271 hogs, 482 large calabashes of poi, 602 chickens, 3 whole oxen, 2 barrels salt pork, 2 barrels biscuit, 3,125 salt fish, 1,820 fresh fish, 12 barrels lu'au and cabbages, 4 barrels onions, 80 bunches bananas, 55 pineapples, 10 barrels potatoes, 55 ducks, 82 turkeys, 2,245 coconuts, 4,000 heads of taro, 180 squid, oranges, limes, grapes and various fruits.”

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