The heiau is well cared for, such as it is, but there are few plants around—lots of ti and a noni bush, but certainly not the healing garden I remembered from before.
This upright rock symbolizes male energy, the prone one, female. The round rock in the middle seemed like a head with a face—or at least two eyes—to me.
I decided to go a ways up the Aiea Loop Trail and parked in the upper parking lot. As soon as I opened the car door I spied a bone on the ground right in front of me. I smiled and picked it up—me, the bone woman. Then I went around the car to open the passenger door and found another one. Clicked together they made that fabulous rattling sound bones make. Mana in the bones.
Then I headed down the trail. I hadn’t gotten very far when I heard voices behind me. I stepped off the trail, being mindful of the hundred-foot drop, and waited for the couple to pass—he talking about the latest office intrigue and she lapping up the gossip like spilled milk. Interestingly, when they passed by the birds stopped their racket. Before I could get back on the trail a young couple toting two small kids passed by.
Then it was finally silent, devoid of humans save yours truly. It was then that the trees began to talk. They started rubbing together, talking to me in the only way they could. (It made me think of when the rocks rubbed together and talked to me at Nu’u beach on Maui.) I sat down on a big root and listened, remembering smatterings of a dream I had last night wherein the disembodied voices were talking to me. I couldn’t understand on the “word level;” but I understood on the psychic level.
I looked up to see where the trees were rubbing together. Then I heard another tree answer, then another farther back in the forest. The wind blew through the leaves, making its own whispering sounds. And then there were the mountain birds chattering back and forth occasionally. That is such a different sound than the mourning doves that are so ubiquitous in the city.
I walked along a little farther, past the roots in the middle of the trail….
… past the bank covered in soft green moss….
…and came to a clearing.
I saw the first actual koa tree, its thin branches hanging over the trail. The mountains used to be covered in koa and sandalwood, but the king’s greed for guns and western goods raped the forests, so that now a spindly youngster is celebrated as a remnant of times past.
The shadows lengthened, the mosquitoes began to bite and I imagined the traffic building up on the freeway—time to bid the place adieu—or, in this case, aloha.