Aloha from Hawaii Island. Yes, I am back home (for any of you that know the story). My beloved and I bought a house on the island and I’m living here right now, and more or less patiently (sometimes not so much) waiting until she and her daughters can be here too. Long story, perhaps for another time.
The image above, is an Ohia tree, which is found mostly around the Volcano area on the south of Hawaii Island, but this one is on our farm in Holualoa, just south of Kona. To some it is referred to as “Pele’s tree”.
When we first visited the island to look at this property, we noticed that this tree was completely bare, with no leaves, and my first thought was, ‘I get to practice my chainsaw skills’, but at the same time, I thought, ‘you know, I kind of like this bare tree standing guard on our property. It isn’t threatening the house, so perhaps we will keep it just as it is.’
We didn’t know what kind of tree it was, or had been, but it turned out to be an Ohia. The legend says that Pele saw this handsome warrior named Ohia and asked him to marry her, but Ohia had already pledged his love to Lehua. Pele was furious and turned Ohia into a twisted, ugly tree. Although the gods could not reverse Pele’s magic, they too pity on Lehua and turned her into the flower on the Ohia tree so the two lovers would be forever joined together. (paraphrased from Love Big Island)
Ok, back to our story. We decided to make an offer on the property and then a couple months later did a return visit to do some measurements and such for furniture. At that time, as I remember, I saw a few leaves on the tree. A couple months later I returned to do the final walkthrough prior to us signing all the paperwork, and I saw the tree covered in leaves and Lehua blossoms. I was a bit surprised, but also quite pleased that the tree had come back. It took a bit for me to realize it was an Ohia, and I wondered what it was doing this far up on the west side of the island.
I had returned to my hotel that night, and while lying in bed, I thought about the tree and a thought came (?) to me. This is our connection to Pele. She is in her own way blessing our purchase of this property. I sent her my gratitude and aloha, of course.
When we came back this June to take possession of the property, the tree was looking even better and covered in blossoms. After a few days, we headed down to pay our respects to Pele and give her our thanks, and when I closed my eyes at the crater rim, the first thought I has was of the tree. I knew then that I had been right, this was our connection to Pele and that she would watch over us. When we turned to leave, we were gifted a beautiful rainbow over the crater. I think of those as Pele’s smile.