If you come to the windward side of O’ahu, you are welcome to visit “Akua’s sanctuary” there. (Akua is Hawaiian for God.) Today the weather is rainy and windy. However, you can still see the waterfalls flowing down the 2000′ cliffs of the forest-covered Ko’olau mountains. Their surface looks like a green shower curtain with white streaks in the folds, whenever it rains abundantly. Rain is considered a blessing, as are rainbows, whale-sightings, views of honu (sea turtles) and other things.
If it were not so rainy and windy today, I would invite you to go for a recreational paddle on Kane’ohe Bay, the green, turquoise and blue ocean surrounded by the Ko’olau mountains. We would gather at the beach and take out our outrigger canoes to paddle to Coconut Island, where we stop to swim around in the marine sanctuary. It is like a gigantic tropical aquarium of colorful creatures feeding around the coral reef. It is a sanctuary, a good place to be, not do. We are in a cathedral of nature, expressing the grandeur of the ocean and mountains. The view reminds me of the Welsh fisherman prayer, “My boat is so small and your sea is so great.” As a community, we visit this place and enjoy a moveable feast of the eyes and soul.
During this season of Lent, I do not feel compelled to give up desserts or dairy or meat. Instead, I am drawn to the soul food of active wonder. Where is God being revealed and known? Where is God acting or persuading? I want to pay attention to wonder and awe.
Let me, let us be in nurturing relationship with God in wonder, awe and beauty.
May we be fed by appreciation of nature’s creativity and complexity.
May gratitude come easily to us.
Let our behavior follow in generosity and love.