The waterfalls in Hawaii are majestic, mystical, truly magical wonders. My husband and I took a walk one day to Twin Falls, a beautiful stop on the Hana side of Maui. Hana Highway is the famous highway that twists and turns through rich green jungle terrain with sharp turns in the road where only one car can drive through at a time. This highway is not easy on sensitive stomachs. Thankfully, Twin Falls is at the beginning of the road to Hana before the highway turns snakelike.
We always trek to the furthest away of the two waterfalls at Twin Falls. It's more private and a stream is the sweetest company walking with you side by side as it passes through the body of a large tree trunk. You feel transported to other dimensions walking this path - a reality where fairies and devas (and menehune) are commonplace. I can hear them whispering and scampering about as we arrive at this waterfall. They announce our arrival to each other with a “look who is coming” state of alarm in their eyes. These creatures have highly charged nervous systems. Our footsteps are a giant's footsteps and the slight rustle of a tree is a strong powerful wind to their senses.
We find a place to sit and meditate near the waterfall's edge. Even the rocks feel softer here, making nature's own easy chair. There are only a few others at the waterfall. One young man in his teens unexpectedly starts throwing large stones into the pool beneath the waterfall. Every few seconds he lobs another stone - ka-thunk - into the pond, creating a torrent in its smooth surface.
To sit in meditation at this place is to sit in awareness of the other beings residing there. I was clearly aware that this young man throwing stones was disturbing the hidden residents of the waterfall. I could feel them run off in fright to hide behind a palm leaf or to scurry underneath a tree branch. These stones rippling through their waters created a mini-tsunami in their world, which went undetected by this young man. I felt uncomfortable because they felt uncomfortable.
This experience introduced me to the little people of nature's forests and waterways. They inhabit the land and are stewards of it; they are watchful and have acute hearing. These little folks also have a mischievous playful spirit, playing mostly good-hearted pranks. Fairies, devas and the like challenge us to look at ourselves through a child's eyes, coaxing us to play where our innermost selves are free to roam.
Do Not Disturb: the nature spirits, rock spirits and spirits of the land when walking the shoulders of Mother Earth.
Signs and Symbols: Walt Disney Reflections
In Hawaii, there are little beings who work hard to get things done secretly in the night called the Menehune. A bridge or wall will be constructed more quickly with the help of the Menehune. They are hard workers, teaching us that accomplishing something requires a diligent effort. They are similar to the leprechaun in Irish lore - occasionally mischievous, but helpful so long as you respect the land. The following stories have the signature of the Menehune. The work of spiritual progress often goes unseen and unnoticed. How many of us have had a boss say you've really worked on your self-confidence and it shows? Rare, huh. When a bridge is finished, you see its completed physical form. When we work through a long held fear or doubt, this goes unrecognized. The Menehune recognize hard work of all sorts and they reward the little steps in our spiritual growth.
The Frog in the Refrigerator
We lived in Kula from 2000 through 2004. Kula is a rural area up 3500 feet on Haleakala volcano in Maui, Hawaii. Kula sounds like “coola,” and it is cooler up there in the mountains with pleasant spring-like temperatures. There is open land, horse pastures, and Jacaranda trees that produce a royal purple spread of flowers on the ground.
There was a persistent rattle coming from our refrigerator at the house we lived in up in Kula. The rattling noise was loud. My husband would investigate with flashlight and a screwdriver in hand to uncover this mysterious rattle in our refrigerator. After weeks of looking behind the refrigerator, one day my husband discovered an unusual object stuck to the coils at the back: a green plastic frog with the word “RIBBIT” written comic book style in a word balloon next to the frog's mouth. We laughed, and laughed. This plastic frog was making this racket this whole time. The frog was making fun of us.
Frogs represent emotional healing, cleansing, and spiritual purification. You know you are working with frog medicine when you have a good cry; your tears are like water lava coming from the volcano of your heart. A frog in the refrigerator can mean that emotions are being kept in the cold, held in and boxed up. The frog was chanting, “Let it out, free those emotions!” The word ribbit expresses it all: expressing emotions is far from an art, the task is a clumsy one, and a comedy of errors often results. As it turns out, my husband and I were exploring new depths in our communication with each other at that time, finding that safe place to talk about our feelings, and the frog was our coach rattling away in the refrigerator.
The Mermaid at Fresh Mint
Paia is a colorful seaside town in Maui with a laid-back feel whose quaint shops cater to tourists and the windsurfers. Fresh Mint is a small vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant with purple and green trim located on Baldwin Avenue, one of only two main streets in the town. A Buddha statue sits atop an altar on a wall shelf. The Buddha bestows a gentle reverence to this sweet restaurant. There's no hustle and bustle here, just the mellow hum of conversation.
Mai Ly Beck, the owner of Fresh Mint, must have Menehune helping her prepare these delicious foods from homemade lemonade, crispy spring rolls, spicy squash soup, and Kung Pau Tofu. Fresh Mint isn't a restaurant that only serves food, there's a gentle energy about the place. At Fresh Mint they often give you a gift when you are finished with your meal - a toy that is reminiscent of Walt Disney characters - for children and adults alike. On a silver platter with our check, Mai Ly presented us with a purple-turquoise mermaid keychain.
This is something you might see at a promotion at a McDonalds, but not a Vietnamese restaurant in a quaint nook of small seaside town. The keychain stood out to me as significant and special. I realized that seeing this little mermaid keychain not only announced the call from a special friend the next day who loves mermaids and mermaid colors, but a subtle awareness of the meaning of the mermaid as a symbol.
Mermaid energy is intuitive and sensual, carrying an emotional fluidity that is open to creativity, possibility and the spiritual nurturance of the Divine Feminine. The mermaid takes us to the subconscious realms of the imagination where dreams are born. This is the gift of the mermaid.
This symbol sparked an internal look at the reciprocity in relationships, the give and take and expectations we hold in our relationships.
The flipside of the mermaid or the shadow side of this symbol asks us how we can get emotionally muddled in fantasy-like notions of our relationships. She asks us to look at the illusions we hold in our life, especially our relationships: do we tell the truth, do we judge, do we develop unhealthy dependencies in our relationships with our lovers, families and friends. The mermaid seeks emotional honesty and ultimately after some travail, a new sense of emotional independence springs forth.
Thought for the day
Play unscrambles the mind, removes old sorrows and reunites you with the child within.