Posted on April 2, 2017
Since our last update, the children had just begun their search for treasures with Moses Goods, our storyteller and cultural navigator. He has taken us from the sacred ruins of Kaniakapūpū to the piko of our own school, Ka Wailele spring, and back to Ulupō in Kailua. Along the way we have discovered treasures of our islands that are tangible, of the physical world, that which we can experience through our senses. Connected to those treasures, however, are the intangible treasures of the past. The treasures that require us to look beyond what is now in front of us. To look within to hear and feel the voices of our ancestors, and to listen with our hearts to the stories of creation, of mana, of respect, of responsibility, and ultimately theories of knowledge that have been passed down from generations through these ancient and evolving legends that reveal the treasures of the Hawaiian people.
While our Mid-Pacific 'ohana is a diverse multicultural population representative of the people who reside here on the islands today, our journey and dialogue with Hawaiian culture was intentionally chosen as the key to understanding and developing a reverent respect for our island home. Regardless of individual ethnic and cultural backgrounds, we teachers responded with this intent as the most authentic path to nurturing an empathetic relationship locally, with the hope that this would translate on a more global scale to where future ideas would take flight.
Almost at the end of our year together, the children returned from two weeks of spring break and had not forgotten where we left off. In their minds, the big ideas that had been spawning were now beginning to hatch! Really complex ideas such as: "transformation of a treasure" or "How does mana come?" have revealed the children's theories and internalization of the experiences, the stories, the connections, and the meaningful relationships they now treasure each in their own way. One of the most significant revelations that has stepped forward is this idea of mana. Mana is not static. Mana is "different from magic," it is something that can be given back. "Mana resides inside us." "Mana is inside the trees, mountains, clouds, plants, caterpillars, rocks, snails, wind..." "Mana is melted." "Mana is like a ghost." and "Mana comes from the heart."
Wisdom from the minds, mouths and hearts of our keiki. Stay tuned as this conversation is not over yet.