Kau wela

  1. Summer, hot season.

We just celebrated the summer solstice (ka māuikiʻikiʻi o ke kau wela) on Sunday. Hundreds gathered at different locations on Oʻahu (or like me in my own yard) welcoming this auspicious day. So I thought summer would be a great “momi” to share with you.

We have two seasons in Hawai’i: Kau wela and Kau Ho’oilo. Summer and winter. Kau is another word that refers to summer, although it is also the general term for season. How many children in our schools here in Hawai’i realize we have just two seasons? How many children would be able to list some of the specific characteristics of kau wela and ho’oilo? How many would be able to say when kau wela begins and ho’oilo begins? And yet, we all got drilled on the four seasons, summer, fall, winter, spring. We learned about leaves changing colors and falling, even though we don’t even have that here in Hawaiʻi. Year after year after year.  We learned and read tons of stories about snow and making snow angels. Not to mention learning about penguins and icebergs.   We learned about Johnny Appleseed and apples but apples don’t typically grow in our back yards (unless you live in Keanakolu up Mānā Road which has great apples!). Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important to get a broad view of our world. But more importantly, let us first teach us about our own ʻāina  and help us to be cognizant of what’s right here in our own backyard. Teach about mountain apple and how mango and lychee came to Hawaiʻi. And then from that we can scaffold all of this other knowledge about other lands. We can perhaps understand why the climate is the way it is here and not in Aotearoa. Or Alaska (where a lot of us have relatives). And the importance of apples and oranges in North America. We can’t put an exact date and time on when kau wela is and when hoʻoilo occurs. But we definitely know when the humpback whales arrive we are entering hoʻoilo, right? And they never come on the same date. They know when the waters will begin to get too cold for them up North. And when the plumerias begin to bloom, it must be kau wela. We look forward to both kau wela and ho’oilo here for various reasons. For me, I covet mango and lychee season, announcing that kau wela is around. And paddling season! And what about big surf and whale watching? Those are things I look forward to in ho’oilo. And during that same season you can guarantee that the sand will disappear in certain areas, and the kōlea, or golden plover, will arrive from Alaska to get all fat before returning to their homes in Alaska. But for now, I will enjoy my kau wela. It’s always a good excuse to drop everything and head for the beach.

IMG_3096Ua hiki mai ke kau wela – Summer has arrived.

Nui koʻu makemake i ke kau wela – I really like the summer.

Copyright: 2015 – Liana Iaea Honda. All rights reserved. All versions of He Momi e Lei ai”, in its entirety, past and present, is the property of L. K. I. Honda. Reproduction and use of any kind other than the sharing of this website is prohibited. Alteration to the original content in any form is prohibited in every and any instance, and use in any other variant is prohibited without written consent of the author. Adress inquiries to: hemomi [at] gmail.com. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

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