It has been both fulfilling and humbling to have been able to experience a portion of my life living in another’s world. As author Robin Wall Kimmerer describes it, wildlife is capable of resembling the role of our teachers that lead, they are our founders. I would have to agree with her, especially after getting to know the life of Kure. I never would’ve imagined that I’d have the opportunity to form an intimate bond with and learn so much alongside the life that we live with as I type these words. They’ve taught my team and me what the true riches in life are, and that this world we live in isn’t just for Homo sapiens.
The island carries itself with grace and aloha with each sunrise and sunset, eager to generously share its vibrant character with us. We have gotten to know each month here like a sibling and the seasons have provided us with a visual journey of natural change and how quickly it can occur, yet how still it is capable of standing. I believe that if we listen, Earth will speak to us. If we open our eyes just right, Earth will show us. In this world that we live in, there is ground that supports us, skies that watch over us, mountains that humble us, an ocean that sustains us, and kupuna and wildlife that guide us along the way. There is so much life out there, out here. Throughout this journey, we’ve learned that aloha is connection. Every living thing is connected through the sources of life, but if we don’t show our aloha to those sources and the life that we are connected to, the bond that we are naturally meant to share with other beings will remain lost.
As we run out of time here we find ourselves becoming more speechless, focusing on just being, connecting self to place. This island has shown us its infinite lani, abundant imperfections, and how it has persevered through many past and present hardships. The life here lives for the island, and the island lives for them. Reciprocity, another term I had learned more about from Kimmerer, is the key to restitching the bond that has been severed between humanity and the wild. When it is time to say our goodbyes to the island that has been a caregiver to us, we can only hope that it knows we have tried our best to care for it in return and will continue on through life trying to tend to other pieces of Earth, too.
The wisdom that Kure has shared will be held in the hearts of my team and I wherever our journeys may take us next. Mahalo nui, Holaniku. Aloha