Our 20 odd acre lake has a small island in the center I call Momi Moku, Pearl Island. It is this round tree filled space uninhabited but for an occasional domestic duck who seem to have all disappeared. A neighbor dog killed one and maybe all the others for all I know. The island didn't serve as refuge for these transplanted creatures it just sits out there waiting.
One hears about uninhabited islands scattered throughout the world's oceans and seas and they intrigue me. What happens on a deserted isle? What purpose does it serve to know they are out there as a concept, a reality in the natural world? We share this earth with so many other creatures who call these islands home. I wonder about the islands inside of me that are deserted parts of myself I have cut off from or that have drifted away and are no longer included in my sense of who I am. Even parts yet to be discovered, acknowledged, charted, and named as mine.
Experiencing and charting our many selves is some of the work I do using Voice Dialogue down by the lake so this idea of deserted islands interests me. Where have I deserted myself or others? When did I ever feel abandoned, out there stranded and detached from the 'other' or many of my inner resources? What happens to us when we jump ship so to speak and start to explore new territory in ourselves?
I had never walked on Momi Moku. All these years of living here I had never explored her shores until one day my exploring good neighbors came out with me on my boat Moe Moku and we shared together that first moment to step foot on our island's shores. There was evidence of a natural man made lean-to facing West that indicated though uninhabited the island had been visited before, we suspect by some young boys living at lakeside who also go exploring into one of our bigger inlets they have named Pirate's Cove.
I could feel even in this small space the adventure of what it means to explore new territory and the work and time it takes to make it home. It is what about 20 families have done living near to or around our 20 acre lake. Coming here to this island of Kaua`i to explore new territory and make it home. This island on our lake is a lovely metaphor for what has been happening here on Hawai`i since the first explorers probably sailed up from the Marquesas Islands between AD 200-500.
We are all connected in spirit to these ancient explorers who risked everything to discover a new land in the middle of the Pacific. They didn't know if there would be a future waiting out here for them, and in some ways we live next to an island in the middle of our lake hoping all things will turn out to preserve and protect her shores as well. Because if she continues to be preserved as an island she will stand as a symbol of our lake being preserved as well. She needs the water to define her as much as the community needs the water to thrive at our lakeside shoreline and downstream as well.
Until we meet again.
Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai`i: 2012
Reference: Commission on Water Resource Management
Click here to download PDF file
Koamalu Volumes 1&2
by Ethel M Damon, 1931
A story of pioneers on Kauai and of what they built in that island garden
Sugar Water by Carol Wilcox 1996
Hawaiian & English definitions from the book:
wai - water, blood, passion, life
wai wai - wealth
pani wai - dam
water - transparent, odorless, tasteless, liquid, H2O
Wetland habitat non-invasive plant suggestions:
bacopa, makaloa, carex, aka 'akai, neke
Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge
Kauai Forest Birds Recovery Project
National Wildlife Federation
Kalihiwai Reservoir is a
Certified Wildlife Habitat
Hawaii Audubon Society
Sierra Club Hawaii
Sufi at the helm of Moe Moku