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  • Writer's pictureAja Lee Faassè

Sacred Maui

The Zebra doves are cooing their soft staccato calls in a crescendo swelling through the island from early morning until handing their performance over to the cicadas and crickets at dusk, each one fading out into the next group in a never ending natural symphony. Christmas morning I awoke at 230 am with my best friend, boyfriend, and travel companion Stefano, to make it to the top of the Heleakala volcano for sunrise. Mountain biking down the backside in the early light for 22 miles from 7800 elevation.

The next day we took a boat out to Molokini which is a giant reef nestled inside of this sunken crater in the middle of the ocean, all you have to do is simply open your eyes underwater and the confetti of colored tropical fish cast a rainbow around you every which way you can imagine. We snorkeled at sunset, floated with Sea Turtles and went Octopus "tickling" with a very skilled 8 year old (I highly recommend) and hiked a couple of odd miles of waterfall trails off of the hana highway road trip which is the entire edge of the east side of the island. There were two things that really stuck out to me on this trip, one was the feeling of witnessing a triple humpback whale breach from about 30 feet away including an entire family wth a baby!!! I felt so honored and appreciated this so much that I could have seen not one more beautiful thing and my trip was already worth it. It just so happened that there was a professional deep sea photographer on board, so I am looking forward to tackling this amazing moment with my brush after I track down her photos.

As Marcus Aurelius said "All art is modeled by nature and therefore no form of nature is inferior to art", this is what inspires me to paint, not to make it more beautiful, which is impossible, but for one moment to feel what it is like to create and translate that singular feeling and by the brush allowing an endless ocean of things to be experienced by the viewer.

The second thing that stuck out to me on this trip was really a surprise as well, I was able to catch up with a friend and her family who live on the island and she invited us to join her sacred sites tour of the Hawaiian shrines on maui in the mountains of ou (Eow). Her stories had me tearing up as I stood in the deafening wind and listened to generational learning through war and abundance and even stories of her own grandmother and fathers healing thru Hawaiian herbal medicine.

As a great great grand daughter of a Cherokee woman I am familiar with the amazing things available to us through natural and spiritual healingOne story was so beautiful about how her grandmother met her grandfather and when they fell in love he asked her for six children! Which apparently was not a lot at the time. She was described as very loyal and also stubborn and was determined to have these six children even though before the first one arrived she was told that having even one child would be painful or impossible, much like how her mother had suffered. Miraculously she was able to give birth to four babies until the fifth, which was her father, was born in such a terrible state that he was rushed to an elder islander who then prescribed a natural medicine for one year after which he was totally healed. Later that year the family was playing at the beach and while they laughed and enjoyed life, a woman watched them and smiled. The next day returning home there was a basket at the door in which a stranger had wrote "I saw your family so full of aloha (love) and I am in a situation where I cannot keep my baby, I saw how beautiful and happy your family is and I know she will be safe with you." Inside the basket was her sixth baby! Our guide who shared this sacred story with us said that the message is to never give up on your end goal, that it might not look exactly like you want it too, but to persevere and it can end up being better than you had ever imagined. I was so moved by this message and such an unexpected thing at the last moment of our trip I could want to write about and share this wonderful story all the way from the pacific islands.

I cannot wait to start on this week and share with you my next travel-painting collection from being immersed in this beautiful sacred jungle of earth in the middle of the pacific.

As with all of my travel-painter collections I have sourced the subjects to infuse the spirit of the land, I try to incorporate the most authentic parts of the unique nature and culture of the area, paint with the hand made earth pigments paints, and as always give 10% back to the planet.

Look for the "Sacred Maui" collection early this 2019!

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