Weekly Message from T. J.

Don’t Miss It

The morning sun is shining again. It’s strange how a few gray days in a row here can affect how we feel. Sometimes its harder to get out of bed. It’s easier to spend the day indoors. We can sort of miss whole days, it seems. And we know others don’t understand. To live in a place like this and complain about a few gray days when others deal with winter weather for half a year or more strains any remaining empathy someone might have for we who get to live here.

But the sun that rises today rises on a special day, a day when times before these that we live were guided more fully by forces more powerful than any newsfeed, press conference, or election. According to Kahu Loko’olu of The Hawaiian Church of Hawaii Nei, today, October 28 is the beginning of the Makahiki, the season when fighting and warring is to cease among neighboring peoples and all are to enjoy the harvest of a season’s growth.

Here is what Kahu Loko’olu shared with me about his research: “On the night of the Hua moon during the Hawaiian lunar month of ʻIkuā is traditionally when the Kuapola ceremony started at a luakini heiau. The Kuapola ceremony signified the start of the Makahiki season.” Tonight the Makali’i constellation will just creep over Orion’s belt, which marks the beginning of the time of the god Lono. Lono is associated with fertility, music, agriculture, and peace. In one of the most famous stories about him, he descends on a rainbow bridge to Earth to marry Laka, the goddess of hula and forest growth. Truly theirs was a heavenly match made on Earth.

So as the sun shone through the morning clouds today, I felt the warmth on my shoulders again. The clouds of the past few days were mere memory. The moon pulling upon the Earth as it does right now and our view of the stars shifting just slightly tonight seem somehow more powerful than any forces that have been pulling on people, shifting their vision from day to day over the past months. Grounded in the relationship between the heavenly bodies we touch and see is the story of heavenly beings who unite for dance, for music, for peace, and yes, for love.

Seasons pass. Times of trial end. Events whose arrivals are fixed in the heavens are part of a fate we cannot hope to master. Clouds gather and pass. The shoulders we have and those we clasp warm and cool over time. The passing is not what matters, though. The sacredness of this day, the present we share with the waking world, brings the power of dance, holds the blessing of music, shares the promise of peace, and sings the warm song of love into each one of our lives. To hold more to a past, to hope more in a future, would mean missing the sacred today. So, warm your shoulders, friends. Don’t miss it.

May it ever be so,
Rev. T. J.

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