When I arrived in Hawaii the first time the air smelled different. That may sound crazy (or not) but it did. It was probably the smell of the beautiful fresh flowers that adorned the beautiful leis that the greeters were handing out as people walked through the airport. I would say that it could be more than that, my first taste of what the Hawaiian’s call the “Aloha Spirit”.
I did not get a fresh lei the first time I travelled to Hawaii. On my second trip, which was a professional education trip to the island of O’ahu, we were all greeted with our very own fresh leis upon our arrival.
We wore our leis to our hotels and the next day we were told how special and sacred the leis actually were. The are regarded highly and with a lot of respect. It is customary to return the lei to the ‘earth’ either by hanging in on a tree or plant, or what has become a ‘hollywood’ tradition, bringing it to the water and letting it go into the water.
It was an educational trip that did not disappoint.We learned about the meaning of the “Aloha Spirit”, and how as I mentioned above, it is much more than saying hello.
“Aloha” was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii.
“Aloha” is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation.
“Aloha” means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.
“Aloha” is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.
“Aloha” means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
Our tour guide, said to us that when people go on vacation their body is usually depleted. Depleted and in need for renewal, which makes sense. We need vitamin D from the sunshine, we need to get away from the daily routine of life with alarm clocks, working, scheduling, traffic. He said that when you come to Hawaii, you are depleted and in need of the Spirit of Aloha to lift you up and give you what you need to return home. After being to Hawaii twice, I totally agree with that way of thinking.
I am going to get some vitamin D on a personal trip to Mexico in a couple of weeks. It is not Hawaii of course, but I will take some of my spirit of Aloha thoughts with me as I get what I need for the fall and winter season in Canada.