Lake Waiau—Hawaiian Style

I knew that Hawaiians have a powerful spiritual connection with Lake Waiau, atop Mauna Kea on Hawai‘i Island. So many songs and legends about Mauna Kea—of course, it has special import for the kanaka maoli (native people). To be sure, the land (ka ‘aina) is treasured by Hawaiians. Yet, Mauna Kea is special above any place (he wahi pana). And the tiny footprint of Lake Waiau is revered highest of all.

I knew all of this—before I visited Lake Waiau on Christmas morning, December 25, 2004. What I didn’t know before that day—I knew nothing of the details or spiritual thought (he mana‘o) associated with Lake Waiau.

Yet here’s the twist (for me). Lacking any details about the Hawaiian connection to Lake Waiau, I stood on that lakeshore on a Christmas morning—my feet touching the stones of the shoreline, my spirit transported into another dimension of reality. I felt and experienced what I called “the Christmas miracle,” the birthing of the world through this Lake Waiau. Later that day I wrote to friends and described Lake Waiau as the piko (umbilical cord) of the world.

THEN (after all that) I went searching the internet to learn more about Lake Waiau. There I learned that Hawaiians revere Mauna Kea and Lake Waiau in particular as the piko of creation. For Hawaiians, Lake Waiau is the holiest of wahi pana (special places).

How had this haole guy, who’s a transplant to Hawai‘i and who did not know the spiritual tradition of Hawaiian thinking about Lake Waiau…? How had I stood on the edge of that lake and intuited such detail that so clearly aligns with the Hawaiian thought?

I don’t have the answer to that question. I write about that day in my first published book, Hawai‘i Calling. I remember what happened. I do not know how it happened. 

Do you? 

Published by Ric d. Stark

New to a post-retirement commitment to literary non-fiction, Ric d. Stark will focus memories on gay life, Hawaiʻi life and Hawaiian quilting.

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