E ala ē

July 10, 2016

In from Lauren Buck Medeiros

E ala ē Awaken/Arise
Our day began before dawn … intentionally. We wanted to be at the waterfront facing the east when the sun came up on this historic and momentous day when we would welcome Hōkūleʻa to Boston Harbor!

Ka lā i ka hikina The sun in the east
It was so cold and we were so unprepared for this kind of unusual summer weather, that we layered all we could wear including the hotel bathrobe, and tried to describe to the taxi driver just where on the massive Fan Pier we wanted to be to chant up the sun.

I ka moana From the ocean
Ka moana hohonu The ocean deep
We huddled by the waterfront, already beginning to see the clouds lighten in what we supposed was the east, getting a taste of what the Hōkūle'a crew encounters when trying to navigate in – total cloud cover in a new ocean in a different land.

Piʻi i ka lewa Climbing (to) the heaven
Ka lewa nuʻu The heaven highest
I kahikina In the east
Aia ka lā There is the sun
We chanted, clapping our frigid hands in time, imagining the sun behind those clouds, rising in splendor, bringing light and maybe some warmth to the new day.

E ala ē! Awaken!
We gathered in a tight circle to share some deep manaʻo, what we've learned on this huakaʻi, what we've felt and how we've grown. This was the appropriate preparation for this, our last, culminating day together. As we began to walk back in the direction of our hotel, passing the Duck Tour meeting site, we realized that we were very close to Long Wharf, the place where the brig, Thaddeus, had left Boston on October 23, 1819 bringing the ones who would envision the "uncommon education" that would become Punahou School.

So we ventured out on that historic pier, found a beautiful compass inlaid in the dock, and asked an early rising fisherman to please take our picture. 197 years later, a group of five Punahou kumu, humbled with gratitude and feeling a lot more connected to those brave souls who set out across the vast unknown waters. Not unlike the crew of Hōkūle'a.

We were so proud to find that Punahou alumni were very much responsible for the organization of the Boston welcome ceremony – carefully navigating the myriad details and respectfully facilitating the participation of First Nations representatives from this area who are always the appropriate ones to issue the welcome. We've heard that some of the Native American leaders have said that this is the first time anyone has ever asked their permission to land on these shores. Think about that a minute. Chicken skin moments.

Permission, respect, honoring ancient wisdom, care for the land and care for the oceans, acknowledging the connections that bind us across time and space; age and language; deep learning that comes when we open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to the experiences around us. These are the things that call us to be AWAKE – to arise! E ala ē!

E Ala E! By Pualani Kanahele (chanted before sunrise, to bring up the sun)

E ala ē Awaken/Arise
Ka lā i ka hikina The sun in the east
I ka moana From the ocean
Ka moana hohonu The ocean deep
Pi’i i ka lewa Climbing (to) the heaven
Ka lewa nu’u The heaven highest
I kahikina In the east
Aia ka lā. There is the sun
E ala ē! Awaken!