What is hope? The dictionary defines it as: “The feeling that what is wanted can be had, or that events will turn out for the best.” What is wanted; yep, that describes my feelings about Hawaiʻi… what is wanted. But the question arises as to what it is that I want for myself once I am living in Hawaiʻi?
My hope is that Hawaiʻi will open up my boundaries on all levels. My hope is that Hawaiʻi will take me to itself and will tell me that I belong to it; will tell this haole that his soul and his heart is, in fact, Hawaiian. My hope is that Hawaiʻi is where my bones will rest, that having given my heart to Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi will be where I will look down upon from Eternity.
As an artist, I want to live in the midst of tropical flowers and foliage, to drink in their colors and to have them come pouring back out onto canvas and paper. I want to live where various cultures come together and offer their customs and foods as fuel for the soul, for the body, and for the mind.
As an Orthodox monk, I want to live in a land where the whole culture is rooted and steeped in a spiritual understanding, a culture which assumes, from the get-go, that what is around us is holy and helpful to our spiritual growth. I want my own understanding of Orthodoxy to be deepened and expanded by Hawaiian spirituality.
As an Orthodox priest, I want to have a part, no matter how small, in nourishing the growth of Orthodoxy in the Hawaiian Islands as expressed in St. Juvenaly Mission in Kona and at Holy Ascension Church in Hilo. Not Orthodoxy as a foreign imposition upon Hawaiians, but as the fullest expression of Hawaiian spirituality.
Hope is what gives our life a direction in which to go; mine is leading me to Hawaiʻi. Hope is also a contract effected between two entities… between Hawaiʻi and I.
Mahalo nui loa!