In a previous post, I gave a brief definition of piko. The piko is, literally, the navel in the language of Hawai'i. Figuratively and symbolically it can be referred to as the center, as the umbilical cord, as the thing that connects you to your surroundings. I bring that up only to say that I have always been umbilically connected to the islands of my birth. Hawai'i! I miss it immensely and have only been gone from it's beautiful shores for 10 days now. When you marry someone that is not from the islands and does not ever connect to the land (as is the case with myself and my husband), you may be forced to leave the 'aina; the land. It pained me to leave, as was evident in my previous posts. Yet here I am, surrounded by land, without an ocean or large body of water in sight.
While I am here, I must find my piko. I must find the thing, the place, the 'something' that is here on this continent that will wholly and umbilically connect me to this land. This is the land of my husbands ancestors. The slave blood in his veins, the same blood that soaked this earth several decades ago is what draws me nearest. The struggle, the heartache, the need to overcome insurmountable odds beckons to me and I am intrigued. The "strange fruit" that once hung from the tree's in these parts baffles my mind. How could one group of people condemn another based on the color of their skin and the circumstances through which they are born? I find myself drawn to the struggle that once was, drawn to know the woeful slave narratives of yesterday. In this, I connect to my own human experience.
I am in search of my piko! Will you come along on my journey?