Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Peter and the Pua

Leslie Mills was a master of the whistle. Able to carry a melody with perfect pitch and intention her call deftly plied her partner from the contents and memories in the tin box. "Okay dear," the songbird's whistle found space for the now, and to the curious comfort dog who was still waiting for Moon Amona's answer she said, "Let's join the others."

Three lei needles nine-inches long with a hook on one end rather than an eye for thread laid diagonally in the box under a copy of Peter Rabbit. Bea took both the needles and the palm-sized book, replaced the bundle of letters and secured the lid. The deep drawer of the mahogany dresser was home to other tin boxes. One of them was a cylinder tin of faded red and gold paints with scenes from the circus. Animal Crackers. Vintage. Inside the tin, a'ole crackers and instead two large spools of crochet thread were stacked one on the other. Both spools were a thick cream color. Bea tapped the animal cracker lid in place and tucked the container into the crook of her elbow.

It took a bit of juggling to carry the blonde with everything else . "I'll walk," it only made sense to the dog. He was after all a comfort dog and all things considered, Crook saw what was important here. Wiggling from Bea's arm Crook jumped to the thick cotton throw rug crossed the short distance and nosed his way through the velvet curtain, waited as Bea closed the dresser drawer and pulled the blue cornflower door open.

"E pule kakou." Leslie Mills turned and invited Bea to sit, and made a point of acknowledging the visitors. With Bea and Crook among them now, Leslie looked to Alexa, Pule Ho'ulu'ulu?1

"'Ae, yes I know it," the young apprentice was seated cross-legged on the floor with a small pair of scissors. The wave of energy that was Moon Amona translucent but present without doubt created a warm spot in her palm. She knew the protocol, set the scissors down.

Na aumakua mai ka la hiki a ka la kau
Mai ka ho'oku'i a ka halawai ...

The pray welcoming the ancestors from all directions, asked for their protection and their wisdom. laid as the blanket of respect  and reverence the unseen were made seen, the old and the young strung their voices together.

Puakenikeni is a fragrance that is inimitable among the many blossoms of a tropical climate. In a Salish wood, the scent was disarming, not unpleasant yet definitely unexpected. In the company of 'uhane, and pule and the mound of flowers laid a path as circuitous as the old mountain road. No straight line here, Bea thought.

'Amama ua noa.

Like the proverbial fish and loaves of the haole bible, Puakenikeni kept coming from the Tupperware.Leslie and Alexa sorted and snipped the blossoms leaving an inch-long stem, the lei would be thick and strung tight. Bea settled into the rocker and pulled lengths of crochet thread. "From shoulder to finger tip," the instruction taught as a girl remained. A lei-seller's legacy bubbled up for her. Bea doubled the thread length and knotted it leaving a generous tail for tying off when the lei was strung. She prepared three strands, one for each of the needles. The copy of Peter Rabbit fell from her lap with a quiet thud.

"Eh the rascal bunny. Still curious aftah all dis time."

"Tell us the story Uncle Moon. How did you and Peter Rabbit meet for the first time?"

Before Uncle Moon's story, a little more about Leslie.

1 Pule Ho'u'ulu is a traditional 'oli and prayer that welcomes the Ancestors, the akua, and the personal gods of those who chant, and asks for their protection, wisdom and insight. I first learned this chant from Kalei Nu'uhiwa. It is Kalei who furthers my depth of study and kilo practices surrounding Mahina, the Moon and the Hawaiian Moon Calendar. This link (click it) will take you to a video presentation that begins with this chant. The entire video presentation is a precious lesson in creating sacred space. If you don't have time to listen and watch it now, promise yourself you'll come back. You won't be sorry, promise.

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