As I browse through my photos of my summer experiences, fond memories fill my mind. I have been home for just a few days and miss the island terribly. On my last evening on Kauai we had a traditional going away party, typical of how I conclude each of the workshops that I facilitate. Or so I thought it would be typical!
We started off at the octagon, which is in the Kahuna Valley. The energy in the valley is potent. It is at the base of the Makaleha Mountains, and from the valley you can see thousand-foot waterfalls pouring down the sides of the steep cliffs above. It is like being guarded on all sides by old wise warriors. The feeling of safety and ancient wisdom fills the air.
After taking in some much-appreciated beach time, we met back at the house to prepare for the going away party. Thanks to the women staying with me, the house was clean! In a matter of moments, salads were prepared, and what is known as “Toby’s juicy chicken” was on the barbecue along with a couple of racks of ribs.
As usual, the fun began right away as the additional participants arrived. I was quite thankful to have John Dumas and his beautiful wife Kana there. We also had the pleasure that evening of having the kava master of the island attend: my friend Gary Mack showed up with a cooler full of kava, so we indulged in this traditional Polynesian drink as the food was cooking.
Polynesian Beverage Kava
Kava is a traditional Polynesian drink. What we were drinking that night came from the island of Vanuwatu. It’s an interesting drink, coming from a plant related to the pepper family. It has a sedative and anesthetic property. With a rich, earthy flavor, what you drink is made from the roots of the plant. The kava we were drinking that night was prepared on the island, then sun-dried untill it became a powder. This powder was then mixed with water, producing a wonderful-tasting kava drink straight from the land of its origin.
Great thanks to Gary for bringing this wonderful beverage to all of our gatherings, and for providing me with a personal supply that I am now enjoying very much in Park City!
Spirit of the Aloha
After the kava, the food was consumed vigorously. Once it was gone, the drums came out! John manned his didgeridoo and flutes, giving us a powerful healing melody. The drums followed this melody to create a magical effect in the room. As the drums echoed off the walls, those who were listening could not help but start moving. And as John wandered through the room, connecting with each person by vibrating the drone of his didgeridoo into each one’s heart, the joy of the island expanded (a result of this can easily be seen on the faces of Danny and Tanis in the photo as they hijacked the cacao while we were playing).
All in all, it was a wonderful evening. Everyone was sent home with the magic of the island in their hearts, the rhythm of the drum resonating in their souls, with the beautiful drone of the didgeridoo grounding them firmly with indigenous energy, and the beautiful melodies of the flute inspiring their joy.
It was wonderful experience for all, made more profound than ever by my dear friends who brought the spirit of aloha in the authentic Hawaiian way.