About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Mālama ‘āina

Rainbow over Ahu Tongariki on the eastern shore of Rapa Nui
Mālama ‘āina is a Hawaiian expression for the gentle, thoughtful and loving nurture of the land. Pacific islanders can indeed teach us how to live in harmony with our planet. Their islands are like small worlds with limited and finite resources. Polynesians had no other option but to learn how to be careful stewards of their small worlds and there were also some tough lessons.
    One such place that encountered a tough lesson was Rapa Nui (also known as Easter Island) an island famous for its megalithic statues - moai.  It is just a speck of land, a lonely island of 60 square miles, in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles from the nearest land (five hour flight from Santiago).
    In the last century Rapa Nui people were blamed for catastrophic deforestation of their island, supposedly in order to erect those famous stone monuments. But recently scholars had second thoughts about it. Deforestation was most likely caused by stowaway rats and extremely difficult environment with slow growth rates.
    Archeologists and anthropologists are actually discovering and confirming the resourcefulness of Rapa Nui people. They were thoughtful and industrious stewards of their small island. On this minuscule world buttered with constant winds and cursed with inferior soils, Polynesians perfected the skill of farming rocks. They grew their food in small rock gardens, they crushed old lava (an improvised fertilizer) to provide nutrients for their plants, they even used small stones as mulch to keep moisture in the soil and to keep precious soil from being taken by strong winds. In a small island with extremely limited resources these were examples of their Polynesian mālama '
āina - loving care for their land.
    This Sunday, as we continue our celestial theology, we will look up at the biblical rainbow and discern and be inspired by similar stark yet hopeful message of hope in finite world.

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