Friday, July 2, 2010

Malama Aina ... the living practice of Caring

I was out for a lovely walk through the forrest using the driveway and lane that are the main courseways from VardoForTwo.  JOTS was not to be found, so my walk was a solitary one.  The day was warmer than usual so wearing the linen shift instead of long pants and long sleeves was a different sort of ocassion.  The gravel drive way winds rather than traverse in a straight line and on foot each step from the cleared place where cars park takes a walker into the depths of forrest within minutes.  The clearing of trees on my left contrasts to the heavy woods on the right.  In the winter, the low sun will be mostly hidden on the right of the driving way as the tree tops are very high.  We have considered the possibility of moving our living pod of a vardo to the clearing, yet the needs we have (to be within electrical connection) make that move a multiple step process that we cannot afford now.  For the while, the place where we have positioned our vardo life gives us a degreee of access and comfort that we count as blessings and necessity ... so we nest where we are.

The walk was pleasant, and with the brace around my ankle, the exercise did body and soul a good measure of good.  I discovered neighbors who live tucked down the lane, and a development of homes is really not far from our covey of woods.  The development is far enough away to give us the protection from household laundry products and wood smoke though and that is another for the blessings count.  On my way back I hauled the empty garbage can with my left hand and felt good being able to do the simple task that benefits the four of us who live regularly here in the wooden human habitats.  Eileen was working in her gardens when I came home, and called to me.  I joined her at the pond-side and we sat and chatted about the this and thats of our real lives, and shared the dreams and visions of women who have been on the Earth for a while.  The subject of Care woven throughout our chat.  The subject coming to the pond-side from all sorts of angles, and as happens when partnerships are created when space for the Divine is welcomed, there was such shares of disclosure and trust.  I am often surprised upon reflection at the depth and breath of these kinds of sharing ... like the writing I do, sometimes, I don't know where the thoughts come from. 

I offered Eileen the Hawaiian concept, a definition plus, of "Malama" to describe Caring.  Sometimes English is too straight a language for one whose predisposition is to wander to a solution.  Like the gently, yet definitely winding driving and walking path, language such as Hawaiian (lyrical rather than literal) describe with broad views.  "Malama" is the Hawaiian word for Caring, and it begins with recognizing that "I" must start with has always been before I add what I might want/need to bring.  Years ago, when I living and working on the island of Maui, I listened to an elder describing how "Malama Aina" (caring for that which feeds you) applies to contemporary human.  In essence he said, "Live only on the white part of the postage stamp.  Care for the center/do not disturb it for that center will feed you into the future."  I have never forgotten what Sam said, and with each ocassion I have to practice that in my real life, I try to stay on the white part of the stamp.  A light foot-print might describe that same practice.  Malama is more than thinking or philosophizing about right-action.  Malama is acting, adjusting, attending and making course-correction regularly and over the long-term. 

Pete and I have begun the process of stepping through the idea that we need a shelter and warm place in addition to the gem of a haven-home VardoForTwo.  Winter will come and that is a given.  Our experience with winter without a shelter and warm place for the other needs of a semi-nomadic couple like us teaches us to prepare to be 'in the flow.'  I end this session at Computer Station #9 with the challenge we have to create that shelter and warm place without affecting the life of a seedling Madrona that lives where that place could be built.  The link that follows discusses the risks to moving the Madrona ... the beautiful Arbutus the shiny who we love and respect for their service to Earth.  What will be do?  More will be revealed as we attempt to maintain our commitment to live only on the white space of that postage stamp.

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