Discovery at Mauna ‘Ala

Here’s something different — I’ve noticed that when people are asked about their relationships they often say things like, “it’s complicated.”  Married, single, divorced?  Boy friend/girl friend?  “It’s complicated.”  If someone were to ask me about my “relationship” with my home and its people, I would have to say, “it’s complicated.” There is no question that I am very passionate about my home and there is no doubt that I love its people very deeply. But, just like we all do with members of our family, I get ticked off sometimes.  Whether it be with family or with others, we all have a tendency to fly off the handle about things before we know the full story.

Before sharing my internal grumblings with you guys, I will always try to be sure that I’m right or, as I am about to do now, I will tell you the whole story, all about how wrong I was, and how I corrected my internal strife.

Ho’oponopono is one of my favorite Hawaiian concepts. It is a way that families or groups get together to discuss their differences and resolve any issues they may be having between them. You could call it a healing process.  It’s a process that I’ve always admired and one that I took to heart many years ago.  More recently, I saw it labeled as, “mental cleansing.”  That definition certainly works for me on this one!

So, with all of that in mind, let me share a little story. Don’t “go off” until you’ve read the whole thing!  I already did that.

Torn and Reconciled

On April 20th, I finally got to walk on the grounds of the Royal Mausoleum. I was excited and a little scared. I walked across the lawn looking at things and something suddenly made me stop and think — I couldn’t believe it. Shock and dismay left me questioning my ability to judge character.  “Why? How could they do that to them?!? How could they be so cruel?”

Let me explain.  We need to back up a little to understand this faulty thought process of mine.  It all started with a small bit of knowledge — knowledge that Kamehameha Schools removed the “Bishop” name from their own. They didn’t want a “haole name” in the name of the school. Fine. That’s your choice. Whatever. To be honest, with all of the bad publicity surrounding Bishop Estate, I would have preferred to disassociate from that as well. I shook my head and left it at that. Then I read somewhere about the love between Princess Bernice Pauahi and Charles Reed Bishop and I started to feel badly and very sad about the name thing.

Now let’s get back to the Mausoleum. Stay with me now, this is where I mix things all up in my head.

Entrance to Mauna 'Ala, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawai'i

The gates are open at Mauna ‘Ala, the Royal Mausoleum, and I can go in! There’s the Queen’s burial site! There’s Queen Lili’uokalani’s resting place, the last sovereign of Hawaii. Wow, finally! Who’s next to her? John Dominis. (My mental wheels go screech!) “Huh?”

“Uh, excuse me, what’s more haole than that?”  Okay, there is Error #1.  This is also known as jumping to conclusions without thinking. Can we talk about a time line here? Hint: There is NO connection between these burials and the name of Kamehameha Schools! Moving on…

Charles Reed Bishop monument

They put Charles Reed Bishop out on the lawn all by himself! Enter in my Error #2.

Kamehameha Crypt frome the side with Charles Bishop's monument in the background

“Where’s his wife anyway? Probably down there with the Queen and everybody else and I just didn’t see her name,” grumble, grumble, grumble. As you can see from the picture above, this was Error #3. Bernice Pauahi’s name is with the rest of the Kamehameha family, right next to Charles out there on the lawn! (That’s the crypt that Charles built for them after she died, by the way.)

Yes there were errors but they accomplished something important — they sent me on a mission to understand what happened.  That mission has opened doors to so many things!

Elimination of the Errors

  • Error #1: I had the Kamehameha School thing stuck in my brain and that was recent. Queen Lili’uokalani and Governor Dominis were interred many, many years before that! I get one slap for that one.
  • Error #2: Charles Bishop was put there by his own design. One more slap for me! Kamehameha School might want to rethink the removal of the name of someone with so much caring, respect, and regard for the royal family!  Just a thought.
  • Error #3: She’s right there! Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop is not only right next to Mr. Bishop’s memorial stone, his ashes were actually interred with her in the Kamehameha Crypt before it was permanently sealed! Three slaps for me!

I could not have been more wrong!  My internal dismay and whining changed into something like this:

“OMG! There she is! Charles was put where? OMG! See?!? They didn’t. They couldn’t. They wouldn’t. They could never be cruel! I knew that.”

Research, patience, and understanding leads to an internal drama successfully reconciled.  The fact that Charles’ urn  was placed on Bernice Pauahi’s casket by Prince Kuhio was just wonderful frosting on the cake for me! (Source: Mauna ‘Ala Hawai’i’s Royal Mausoleum, Last Remnant of a Lost Kingdom by Don Chapman with William Kaihe’ekai Mai’oho)  Their love was not overlooked, it was highly respected.  Ponopono = setting it straight; setting me straight!

I’m not saying that Charles was an angel.  I don’t know enough about it all, but I’ll keep digging and I’ll let you know!

SPECIAL NOTE about Kamehameha Schools: Don’t take any of this the wrong way! If I had a child, right now, with Hawaiian blood, I would do everything in my power to enroll that child in the Kamehameha Schools system. They produce fine students! I have only the highest respect for the quality of education that they provide! (It’s not their fault that I’m a mush bucket who jumps to conclusions.)

There’s so much to uncover, so much to tell — I don’t even know where to start.  The stories all link together, the history all links together, my discoveries all link together. I want so much to share — it’s so fascinating. There is so much we don’t know! Did our education system let us down. In this department I’m afraid they did. I’ll share what I find, I promise!

In the mean time, Mauna ‘Ala is a beautiful place to visit and to just sit down for a while and think.  It’s so peaceful and there is such a feeling of safety and sanctity there.  If you have not been there, you need to be sure you add it to your list of places to visit!

In Search of Restoration

Crypt Entrance (photos inside are discouraged)As you step carefully down the narrow stairway, you well see a little plaque on your left next to the gate. You can see it in the picture to the right. On the plaque is written a short little blessing labeled the “Kawananakoa Gate Blessing.” (The Kawananakoa family is there with the Queen too!)

That little plaque reads as follows:

HARBINGERS OF ALOHA
THROUGH A BLACK LACE VEIL, SHIMMERING
UNLOCK OUR LOVE
LEST WE FORGET FROM WHENCE WE CAME

AND AS WE TOO SLIP THE SURLY BONDS OF EARTH
TO FLY WITH IWALANI
LET OUR CHILDREN JOIN HANDS HERE
TO TOUCH THE SOUL OF ALOHA

                                               August 29, 1986

It’s not all that old.  I don’t know who wrote it but it’s very beautiful, very touching, and very fitting. In a coming post, “In Search of Restoration,” I will tell you why I say it is so fitting.

For now, I just felt the need to share my little joyful moment of discovery with the World.  Readers know where my heart is. This is my home and this is our history.

 |  digg this! digg | stumble this! stumble | submit to reddit! reddit | del.icio.us tag this 
Related Stories:

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Tweet, Tweet, Rockin’ Carnival! // May 4, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    […] Evelyn (that’s me) was waffling about which post to share but Liza answered that question for me.  While we’re on the topic of deceased loved ones, I wanted to share a little story about a personal error that I made and that I beat myself up about.  Emotional reconciliation is such a wonderful thing and I made more than one Discovery at Mauna ‘Ala! […]

Leave a Comment