Maui is so gorgeous. It used to be my favorite island but it lost some of its charm with all it's recent housing developments and strip malls. I didn't get to visit as many places as I had wanted to since I was on the island to help at a Youth Conference. This was not a leisure visit. I am glad, however, that I was able to hang out in Iao(pronounced ee-yow) Valley. That was probably the highlight of my stay there.
The many tourists that trample the valley contrasts so boldly against the legends that surround the valley, the bloody battles that took place there, and the symbolism of the phallic formation. We sat at the foot of the stairs that lead to a breathtaking view of Iao needle and broke out in Hawai'i Aloha.
I was in Maui with a singing group, many of us of Hawaiian heritage. There we were, singing such a beautiful song, in a beautifully ancient setting; all of us breaking out into traditional, Polynesian 3-part harmony. It was truly moving and I did shed tears of extreme longing for the Hawai'i of yesterday. A Hawai'i before my birth into this world. The Hawai'i that was free of American capitalism in it's earliest stages -- American/ Christian missionaries. **heavy sigh**
Ku'u home kulaiwi nei
'Oli no au i na pono lani ou
E Hawai'i, aloha e
E hau'oli e na 'opio o Hawai'i nei
'Oli e! 'Oli e!
Mai na aheahe makani e pa mai nei
Mau ke aloha, no Hawai'i
O Hawai'i, O sands of my birth
My native home
I rejoice in the blessings of heaven
Happy youth of Hawai'i
Gentle breezes blow
Love always for Hawai'i
Ironically, this song is credited to a Christian minister, Lorenzo Lyons, who was born in Massachusetts and set sail to Hawai'i in 1831. He died here after erecting over a dozen churces in 1886. The words of Hawai'i Aloha are sung using the tune of an old hymn, "I Left It All With Jesus".