Dancing in the ruins of an ancient Hawaiian temple
Because I have so many dead people in my life story, and have explored how to hold onto those relationships, people often ask me if I’ve ever experienced a “spirit.” This morning I’m remembering one very clear experience.
I was in Hawaii. This was my second trip, this one alone, after I had won a trip to HI a year or so earlier. (Also a delightful story) I’ve dearly loved Hawaii, felt at home as if I’ve lived here before. I was on the island of Kauai, the farthest out of the main islands and one less populated (so far) by Westerners. I’d read that the ruins of an ancient temple were on a cliff somewhere near this beach. I walked the long length of the beach to the end and found myself at the foot of a high wooded hill; a small path up began nearby. I started the steep climb and eventually found myself at an open place, clearly the old temple ruins. Three tiers of earth/sand each marked into a rectangle by stones, and all looking out over the shining blue ocean, with trees on either side giving privacy to the view. Where I stood at the end of the path, a circle of stones was full of small tokens people had left.
I walked quietly and slowly out into the sandy area of the former temple. Then I felt a happy urge to dance here. I’d been taking lessons in Hawaiian dancing; I wasn’t particularly good at it but I did love it and had kind of mastered one dance. So I began to do it there, facing out towards the ocean, feeling the wind and sun on my body as I flowed in this hula story.
At one point I faltered a little: I always messed up in that place in the dance. I went on and finished. When I was done, I felt a presence. It felt masculine, somewhat large and old, and it said to me, “DO IT AGAIN.” So I did it once more, feeling now that I was being watched. I faltered again at the same place. When I finished, I felt the presence loving me somewhat as a child is loved, like ‘Okay, you tried,’ but the voice told me that “One should not make mistakes; one should dance perfectly in the temple.”
I promised I would practice the dance and come back and do it perfectly.
As of today, I have not done this. I’m not sure I could remember the dance now and even less sure I could walk the length of the beach and climb the hill! Goddess willing, perhaps I could remember the dance and do it at home here.
Yes, I have experienced a spirit. And – discovered that I was being watched by one! I felt that he lived there still, as if time stood still for him, and that anyone who entered this historical area should honor and be aware of him. Dancing in a temple is a prayer and a communal experience; one should do it with proper reverence and – perfection!
I’ll add another small Kauai experience. As I flew off on a small plane back to the island of Oahu, I held in my hand a short smooth stick I’d picked up to carry home as a souvenir. As my plane rose and I looked out the window, I felt the anger of the island coming at me strongly for taking the stick! So now not only do I owe a perfect dance to a Hawaiian ancient one but I have a small stick I must somehow keep separate from all my other earthy collections and return one day to its land.