Hana Nights

Cath and I had finally made the transition from Maui to Kauai’s north shore - where we
had just spent the last couple of weeks. We have been coming to Maui almost every year
since the 80’s. Maui will always be – a “Funmeister” travel destination - but Maui has just
grown too much – too fast. With that said - there is one place on the island – that will
always be the true essence of “aloha” - we will forever return - to Hana.


Hana, is where Cath will someday spread a few of my ashes. The Hana coast - Hamoa
Beach - Frigate Island - Red Sand Beach - and Hana Ranch. The drive – town – sun -
fun – horses – cattle – pastures - clouds – mist – rain - sun rise – sunset - moonrise
- mushrooms – music - the people – families – their way of life - Hana - O’Hana. And of
course, Hotel Hana – Maui – this is Maui – this is Hawaii.


It was the Christmas season and we decided to spend the holiday in Hana. On our
way in from the airport - we often stop to visit our friends - Fred and Suzie – we met
them through horses at the World Equestrian Games in Roma – they have the most
beautiful home and riding arena on the slopes of Haleakala - surrounded by Ulupalakau
Ranch. We had dinner with them - stayed the night – then headed out on the back road
to Hana. We stopped at the Winery – then headed out on to the Piilani Hwy – had a
sandwich at the “wacky” store in Kaupo – like always it was a windy – but a beautiful
adventurous drive. Up around Mamalu Bay – we stopped and went for a swim at a
waterfall and pool – dried off on the hot rocks - then drove on around to Kipahulu –
looking for birds – past Seven Sacred Pools - finally reaching Hana in the late afternoon.
(We take the old “Road to Hana” when we go back to the airport in Kahului) completing
the loop. After a sunset at Hamoa Beach – we eat dinner at the Hotel - then settled in
for a peaceful night’s sleep. If you’ve been on the islands long enough - you actually lose
track of time - TV – cell phone – shoes - your clothes – even your watch. You live by the
sun – get up with the sunrise - go to bed with the sunset – your life cycle is in tune with
the earth and sun.


That night - I’m sleeping like a rock – suddenly - something - a flash – a giant flash of
light wakes me. It was the strangest thing - in the middle of the night - like someone was
outside was using an old fashion camera – with flash bulbs – big ol’ flashes. Over here
- then over there - across to the other side of the room - there was no rhythm or rhyme –
no timing to this light.


I thought it must be lightning – but there was no thunder? - so I got up - went outside
– stood on the porch - it was as still as it could be – I could see nothing – pitch black –
no moon - no storm - no rain – no thunder - not a sound – what’s going on here? Then
it flashed again - behind me – I jumped - spun around – then again and again. When I
finally got a straight shot - head on look - the flashes seemed to be concealed behind
a dark shadow – a veil hidden within the darkness – the light was dancing deep within
the black night’s clouds. I could see the outline - edges of clouds - but far - far away.
It lasted an hour – it was the most incredible black and white - silent light show. Like
strobes flashing within distant clouds – eventually becoming slithering bolts of lightning
- shooting sideways – horizontal – not vertical – flying – crawling branches - ripping
across the entire sky – they rolled like fire balls – thrown from the Gods – the sign of
Zorro - electric sparks and charges – instantly exploding – it was like Armageddon – a
rocket’s white flash - a flash so bright you could see everything – then instantly blinded
and see nothing – stinging my eyes – my pupils couldn’t adjust fast enough - I couldn’t
see – I couldn’t see. But still no sound?

As I stood and watched - a soft wind started to blow – it was warm and mysterious –
the flashes grew more frequent– still no thunder – only flashing light. Then the famous
Hawaiian mist – started to float slowly on the breeze – they call it rain – Hana rain. I
had been up for two hours – trying to figure this out – but now its here – I know it’s a
storm – growin’ – blowin’– I could smell it – now it really started to rain. The wind slowly
grew – from a breeze to a blow – to a howl – to a ragin’ river - with unbelievable force
– rolling down off the eastern slopes of Haleakala – with crushing power – swirling –
shooting up – down – then comin’ at me sideways. She blasted all night - it wouldn’t - it
just couldn’t stop. It rained in sheets – pounding on the tin roof so hard - you couldn’t
hear – feel or think.

Underneath all this – like a foundation of sound - a slow quiet rumble started – from
way out in the distance – way – way out - rolling - flowing – an eruption - coming up
from the ocean floor – there was no timing – no connection to the flash! – growing
louder and louder – slowly the sound started to connect to the flashes. Long sheets
of waffling steel - slowly creeping up on me - shotgun blasts - lightning cracks – sonic
booms - rolling in across the sea - comin’ at me – an atomic blast - you could feel the
shock waves – like pounding surf – inside a giant curling wave - rollin’ - whirling – ringing
in my ears – repeating so fast - that now you couldn’t make out each roaring boom – it
took me to my knees – I couldn’t hear.

I knew it was a spiritual event unfolding – it had arrived – the Mana – the powerful Pele’
– the Gods were now speaking – they are playing their games. Like World War III – up
from the bowels of the earth - it seemed to last forever. The energy of the storm became
so strong - it shook my soul – the room – the earth – every fiber of my body. It was the
most amazing textures of sound – light – and vibration – I’ve ever experienced - in three
hours - over six inches of rain fell. It was the best night I’ve had since the Northern
Lights in Alaska.


Just as life - all storms must end - it started to lighten. Slowly – oh so slowly it started
to unwind – out in the night - the sky - the water - the earth - all looked as one - melted
melded together. Then the thunder - the rain - the wind - the blackness of night - started
to separate - turning into all different shades of gray – was it starting to reveal a new
day? A low soft hue - a morning light - a sliver of yellow orange light - sliding along
the edge of the ocean’s horizon – it was trying to break though – a morning sunrise? I
started to make out the edges of the clouds - began to see the surf - crashing waves -
horses in the pasture – even colors of green. Oh, my God, is that a patch of blue? Are
we going to Hamoa Beach today? I couldn’t believe it! It finished the way it started - but
in reverse - for another hour – no flashes - no lightning – only the rolling - booming -
rumbling - waves of thunder - floating away from me.


Finally, I walked off the porch to looked around - checked things out. Palm fronds –
pieces of roofing – it looked like a Tornado had come through. - Oh no - wait – behind
me encasing Haleakala - were the biggest – blackest clouds – like a huge rolling blanket
- comin’ right at me! It had been a false alarm. This storm wasn’t going die this easy –
it wasn’t going to end this way? I couldn’t believe it! The wind started blowin’ – faster
this time – rain started fallin’ – harder this time - with the slow low rollin’ - boomin’ –
thunder roars – rumblin’ in the distance – but no lightning – the black blanket covered
the earth and sea . Mother Nature in her fullness. When it finally stopped – there was
a long period of unbelievable colors and light – again - the thunder kept slowly driftin’
away – in slow motion – two more inches of rain had fallen - it took another hour for the
rumbling to stop - the sky finally cleared for another beautiful Hana blue sky day.
Later that day at Hasegawa’s store, we talked with the locals - they said the Kapuna (the
elders) of Hana - hadn’t seen a storm like this since they were children - decades ago.

 

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