A day in a treehouse, sharing stories


On my last day in Hawaii, I stopped in to see my aunty and uncle in Kailua, which meant I got to hang out in their treehouse (they live in), learn about lo'i (taro/kalo patch) and hear an amazing story about kaupapa, community collaboration, purpose, resilience and aloha. 

Aunty Michelle and uncle Dean Wilhelm shared their story of what started off as something small; a fun place for their kids to hang out on a block of land they'd recently purchased.  And how that grew and developed into something beyond what they could have anticipated. Their wish to live on their 'aina (land, ancestral land) and its resources, manifested into a truly amazing and organic journey, spanning 10 years which has brought people and communities together, allowing the whanau (family, ohana) to work and live off their 'aina, which almost completely off the grid, how frikn cool is that?! As a result, they have been able to shape a place and space to share their people's history, stories, cultural practices and worldview with others.

It's incredible and sometimes unbelievable how the universe conspires to make things happen when we intensely focus on a goal, or what we want. The journey often reveals a version of our goal that is way bigger and more amazing than we could ever dream of. It's never really the end, you never really achieve the goal because when one chapter finishes, the next one is waiting for you. I've found personally and from observing others, that goals have a way of upgrading themselves and pushing you to upgrade yourself in order to achieve them.

"every next level of your life will demand a different version of you"

We're introduced to people and experiences in our life journey for a reason... everything happens for a reason. don't act like you haven't heard that line before. I like to appreciate it from the viewpoint that "everything has a process." Take nature for example, there is winter, spring, summer and autumn or wet and dry seasons. All living things are born or hatch, or grow from something small and tiny and go through a process to become adults, tall trees, mama birds etc. Even a MacBook Pro starts off as separate pieces and undergoes the process to be the most awesome laptop out, anyway, back to lo'i and the treehouse.

Hearing aunty and uncle's story and seeing the fruits of their journey in person was so timely and empowering for me and where I am on my own haerenga (in this context; journey).  It reminded me that everything has a process and to trust in that process.. Learning is a big part of that and sometimes I think "man, I wish I knew this sooner" then I snap out of it and start thinking more productively like "Well, you didn't know. Now you do. What are you going to do."  The best way I've learned to trust the universe, to trust that what is meant for me will never miss me, to trust in the process is to be grateful for it all, and to appreciate where I am, what I have and what's coming next.

Funny what you learn about yourself in a treehouse and out with nature.