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This book was first published in 2008 to great reviews. Hawaiian teenage Twins Diaoji and Leilani travel to Kyoto, Japan to visit their billionaire father who has an estate on Mt. Kurama, outside of Kyoto. They follow signs which suggest their mother, who was lost on this same land eleven years before, may stilll be alive. They meet other worldly characters on a quest to find her, that will eventually take them to the Middle Earth. A most exciting story from beginning to end. Twins One
Grandfather Koichi sat alone in his greenhouse, steeped in an ancient stillness, tying and trimming one of his favorite bonsai plants. A barn cat slept on his lap, purring in rhythm with the soft hush of Hawaiian trade winds filtering through the trees, all adding peaceful harmony to Grandfathers waking meditation.
Suddenly he felt a slap on the side of his head. His eyes looked in every direction, confirming he was still alone. Returning to his stillness, he closed his eyes and searched for it, asked for it, whatever “it” was, to come into his consciousness. Within seconds he detected a faint vision of the Ki Earth, a 5th Dimensional planet 13,000 years ago.
The Ki Earth was a pristine planet where all the people lived in abundance, peace, love, and harmony. The continents were the same as they are on this earth, except for Mu and Atlantis. Lumeria or Mu was a vast continent in the Pacific Ocean, its people 100% devoted to the Aloha Spirit. Atlantis, also a huge continent in the Atlantic Ocean, was an advanced civilization with modern cities, 5D cooperation and abundance for all. At that time, a disguised group of low integrity Annunaki technician commanders from the planet Neburu, had set up a laboratory in the City of Atlantis. They were successful in hypnotizing the best Atlantean scientists, to use their advanced crystal technology to find a way to bring their dying planet into orbit around our sun.
Koichi flashed to visions of a Tengu Shaman, two preserved headless bodies, a leather book and a raven. He felt he would soon meet the man who took that leather book from the crypt at Namu Ku, where he and Kasun had buried the last Twins of Kashal, 500-years-ago. Taking The Living Story out of the crypt is the sign that the next Destiny of the Twins of Kashal adventure has begun. We must act now, he thought. He shook himself out of his vision, flipped open his cell phone and called Uncle Kamaka, a local Kaua’i kahuna, who lived in a shack in the sacred heiau on the foothills of Mt. Kalalea, in Anahola. “Kamaka, I got the vision. Today’s the day.”
Koichi closed his eyes again and returned to his vision. He remembered himself as one of the immortal triplet brothers who were Commanders of the Mothership from the planet of Kashal, a great humanitarian civilization. Their agents had previously visited the pristine Ki Earth and were given a vast area of land in Eastern Asia, to resettle the first group of 1,000 people from the dying planet called M’tajak. Before landing on earth, the Kashal Mothership parked in space above the land mass which is now Japan. The next day, the mortal, born every 500 years, royal Twins of Kashal, flew out in their small spacecraft to get a closer look at the new M’tajakian homeland. Kizar, his name then, and Kasun, his brothers, also went out in their small individual crafts to view the area. The third brother, Kudram, was left in charge of the Mothership. Kizar and Kasun were unaware that Kudram had previously been in secret negotiations with two Annunaki top commanders, who had come from the City of Atlantis to meet with him aboard the Mothership that day. Long before they left Kashal, Kudram had an “evil intent” to become the ruler of the entire Ki Earth. The Royal Twins of Kashal and the priceless Five Crystal Spheres had been brought along for a ceremony to bless the new land and the lives of the M’tajakian people. Kudram had already planned to kill the Twins of Kashal and somehow elude his brothers. Once he internalized the power of the Five Crystal Spheres, he would be invincible.
“I felt it too, brother,” Kamaka had answered. “Can you be here with the twins around noon?”
Koichi snapped out of his dream. He looked at the clock. 10:30 am “We’ll be there,” he’d promised. He hurried across the property to where his wife Puna was preparing the dancers of her halau for the next day’s performance of the Dance of Migration, the story of when Ki became Ku.
“Puna,” he interrupted, bowing politely to her and her students.
“Excuse me,” she said to the dancers, and then walked to the nearby bench and sat with Koichi. “What is it?” she asked.
“The Prophecy I have told you about has begun. The twins must go to Japan right away. They can still do the dance in the morning . . . they must do the dance in the morning. I’ll give them their second Aikido blackbelt test before I take them to the Kalalea at noon. Kamaka will be waiting. They must find the upper heiau.”
Puna returned to her dancers and praised them for their hula. This morning’s practice of the Dance of Migration was well rehearsed. She told them that they needn’t practice any longer, and to be at the Kukui heiau at five the next morning.
“Come here, keiki.” Puna waved for her beloved sixteen-year-old twin grandchildren Daioji and Leilani. They said goodbye to their friends and walked over to her.
“Your hula was perfect today. You got it down. We have a change of plans. Grandfather wants you to dress and meet him in the dojo at eleven.” Puna hid the anxiety she felt about what was coming and gave them an encouraging smile.
“I thought we were going to have a day off from Aikido,” Daioji complained. “I’m ready to surf. Why do we have to train today?”
“You’ll see,” Puna answered with another smile. “When you’re done with today’s training, Uncle Kamaka wants you to come to the heiau. He has a feeling that today’s the day for you two to find the upper heiau on Kalalea.”
“Today? Us?” Daioji asked, pondering the impossibility of finding a sacred site which most believed existed only in island mythology, and Uncle Kamaka’s imagination. “Is Grandfather coming?”
“He is,” Puna answered. “Anyway, Kamaka says he has this feeling in his bones.”
“We’ll play along. It would be cool if Grandfather gives us our black belt test today,” Leilani added. “I’m ready.”
Grandfather Koichi returned to his greenhouse. He still had a fifteen minutes before meeting the twins in the dojo. He reheated his pot of special dream tea and drank half a cup before closing his eyes. His vision went to the Mothership, on that earth-shattering day, 13,000 years ago.
With the Twins and his two brothers gone, Kudram’s plan was beginning to unfold perfectly. Before the Annunaki commanders arrived, he took the Five Crystal Spheres from where they were being kept. Once aboard, he told them that unlike any of the Atlantean crystals, the ones he had were powerful enough to bring Neburu into orbit. He said they could use his crystals for this end, only if they made him the Supreme Ruler of Planet Earth. The Annunaki commanders, along with their top scientist, who would return as Nikola Tesla in a future life, objected, not seeing how that would be possible. Nevertheless, Tesla had brought aboard a suitcase sized machine he had invented, designed to bring Neburu into orbit. He admitted that it lacked enough crystal power to do so. Kudram insisted the Spheres had more than enough power. They finally agreed to Kudram’s request, even though they were bluffing. Kudram beat his chest, “Neburu will be saved, and I will be the supreme ruler of the Ki Earth.” Kouichi paused his dream to think, I wonder what happened that turned our brother into a psychopath.
So, while the Twins of Kashal, Kizar and Kasun were in their spacecraft flying over Ki Earth, Tesla placed the Five Crystal Spheres in his machine, totally unaware, as was Kudram, that the four-inch spheres could morph at will into one of three forms; crystal spheres, crystal masks, and beautiful human Goddesses, who had their own solution to all this conniving.
The five Goddesses understood these maniac plans were totally out of balance with 5D harmony. So, at the exact moment when Tesla pushed the button to activate the machine, the creator Goddesses duplicated the 5D Ki Earth, giving these men their own evil playground – the 3D Ku Earth. They would return in 500 years with the next Twins of Kashal and turn Ku back into Ki.
To the Goddesses, the Ku Earth was simply a 3D illusion, a hologram. Those living in this 3D world would never be able to see the 5D Ki Earth. But when the Five Goddesses created the duplicate earth, they didn’t anticipate it would flip on its axis, resulting in mass flooding, wiping out Atlantis and sending Mu down to the Middle Earth. Along with almost all the duplicated people, the mortal Twins of Kashal died in the shift. The immortal brothers Kizar and Kasun of course survived, landing their spacecraft on high ground.
Kudram and the Annunaki didn’t see the moment when there were two earths, only the one that had turned upside down. What was, before the crystals were placed in the machine, a blue-green earth, was now almost entirely blue. The Annunaki commanders told Kudram about a portal, and he was then able to fly the Mothership, with its 1000 M’tajakian immigrants, through it, to their new home in the still pristine Middle Earth.
At the moment of duplication, the five Goddesses left the Mothership and decided to disappear to separate hiding places on the upper Ku Earth, some under water. They sent a telepathic message to all three immortal brothers, that they chose to remain on the Ku Earth to honor their Destiny; to assist the future Twins of Kashal. They left out the part of destroying Ku in the near future and returning to one Ki Earth. Unaware that the Goddesses were responsible for the earth’s destruction, Kudram intended to one day find them and use their power to rule both the Middle and Upper Earths. What he didn’t know for the many millennia to come was that only the Twins of Kashal would be able to find the Five Crystal Spheres, and that any spaceship with them aboard coming from Kashal would not be able to see the illusionary Ku Earth.
Grandfather opened his eyes and drank more tea. He didn’t need to close his eyes to remember aftermath of the great flood 13,000 years ago. As the water resided and all the land reappeared, the Ku Earth was now an open book, and as written in the story of Adam and Eve, an evil that never existed on the Ki Earth, was introduced. Satan had found a playground that had no rules or laws. The evil ones contrived to take dominion over the surviving good people of this earth, prevailing ever since.
Kasun had landed his spacecraft on Mt. Kurama in Japan and stayed there. Kizar, who later assumed the name of Koichi, eventually settled on the island of Kauai. Neither were interested in worldly affairs, recognizing it all as illusionary. Together using telepathy, Japan to Hawaii, they spent millennia trying to figure out how to get the Twins of Kashal through the illusionary shield; to be born on the Ku Earth, and with the help of the Five Goddesses, make it the Ki Earth once more.
Diaoji and Leilani quickly changed into the black skirt hakima and padded white gi top and headed for the small dojo behind their hillside home. Aikido lessons were part of their everyday home-schooling life, and most likely they never thought about the luxury of having their own private dojo and Aikido sensei, all in their backyard.
Koichi’s Japanese Aikido dojo was traditionally constructed; a combination small Shinto Shrine and shoji screened training hall. The lovely building was slightly elevated above grandfather’s carefully tended Zen Garden, which was accented with perfectly trimmed bonsai trees. The piece of land between the house and the dojo was only a small section of an impeccably landscaped acre of land. Water dripped from a fifteen-foot-high lava rock wall, feeding a stream that spilled into a koi fishpond. An arched wooden bridge stretched over the pond to the stepping-stones that led to the dojo entrance. Grandfather Koichi had trained the twins in this dojo since they were five years old.
The twins bowed as they entered, once to their teacher while standing, and once to the shrine’s altar while on their knees. Neither Grandfather nor the twins practiced the Shinto religion. The altar and the bowing were to honor all the spirits of the Earth. He always told them that if they wanted to know what the Shinto religion was really all about, they need only to listen to their grandmother, who was more attuned to nature than any Shinto priest he’d ever met.
After the bows Grandfather clapped his hands to begin the class.
“Excuse me, Sensei,” Diaoji bowed, coming back up to sit on his heels.
“Is this about our dan test?”
“I’m ready, unless it has something to do with six huge Russians coming at me all at once.” Diaoji remembered a video he once saw of a Master fighting off six Russian black belts, while blindfolded.
“Me, too,” Leilani added. “Except if we have to fight with real swords.”
“No real swords,” Grandfather answered. “Please stand. You will be doing this test blindfolded.” He took two black blindfolds from the belt of his blue hakima and tied them tightly over their eyes.
“To begin I want you to demonstrate shomenuchi, the way that I taught you. I want you to accent each move with forceful kotagamae. Don’t hold back the power of your voice.”
Diaoji immediately centered himself and as soon as he felt Leilani’s energy field, he shouted HA! and charged at her with an exaggerated uke attack, which Leilani, as the nage, met with an equally exaggerated movement. Diaoji slammed to the mat. He quickly got up and charged at her. She countered by relaxing and used his movement to flip him high in the air. He smashed back down on the matt. With cat-like precision, and contrary to the rules of Aikido sparing, he grabbed her ankle and tripped her. Diaoji sprung up as Leilani fell on her side. He waited for her attack as she bounced up and charged at him. She, now as uke, was thrown into a mat-shaking high fall. They have learned well, Grandfather thought after about fifteen minutes of intense sparring.
He clapped his hands, picked up three bokken, wooden swords, and walked into the center of the mat. Without any instructions or warning he threw a sword to each of the blindfolded twins, who caught them in one motion and crouched in the hamni stance, waiting for an attack.
With a loud tone, Grandfather invited both Diaoji and Leilani to charge straight toward him. Grandfather’s ki energy field, amplified by his loud kotagamae, deflected the twin’s swords with barely a move. They went tumbling past him. “Use your voice! Louder! Use your ki!” Grandfather yelled at them. They quickly bounced back up and charged at him again – this time in full voice, KUUUEEE, and with full intention. Now they penetrated his shield. He had to move dynamically, barely avoiding the two cutting swords before sending the twins into high falls. They immediately popped up, swords held high.
We almost got him that time, Leilani thought to her brother in the private telepathic talk they called mu-mu.
He’s the best . . . but in a few more years I’ll be better . . . you’ll see, Diaoji mu-mu’d back.
After ten more minutes of concentrated sparring Grandfather carefully laid his sword down, clapped his hands again and sat. The twins knelt in front of him, removing their blindfolds.
“Very well done.” They’re as good as anyone I’ve ever sparred with, Koichi thought to himself, the best of the Japanese sensei’s. Eleven years of daily personal training . . . they’re ready. He looked at them intently. “You are now prepared to use your skills outside of this dojo. Your lives are about to change. The journey you have come for, your life purpose and destiny, has now begun.”
Leilani raised her hand, trained as they both were in proper dojo etiquette. She thought to her brother, how does he know what my life purpose is?
Destiny? Diaoji mu-mu’d in reply.
Ignoring her raised arm, Grandfather continued, “What your grandmother and I have taught you, you both have learned well. You have the agility and common sense to meet all obstacles.”
Obstacles? Diaoji thought to Leilani as he raised his hand to ask the question. Grandfather ignored him just as he had Leilani.
Maybe he said, Popsicles, Leilani thought back.
Diaoji giggled to himself, it’s just grandfather showing off his test-stacles. You know . . . testing skills?
Leilani held her composure as Grandfather continued, “Although some situations will seem impossible, you will always find a way to move forward. Cooperate with each other. Blend. And don’t forget, I will be with you wherever you go.”
Was he on my date the other night with Pako? Leilani thought.
Diaoji was about to burst out in laughter. Were you blending?
Blushing, Leilani forced back her smile. As she looked over to her brother, the best she could come up with was a discrete rolling of her eyes.
Grandfather sensed their distraction and loudly clapped his hands two more times. The twins sat up straight in front of him. Even though they didn’t grasp the full implications of Grandfather’s words, he now had their complete attention. “The mind wants to wander. You must remember to focus. A wandering mind is a luxury that won’t serve in the days to come. Pay attention. Focus.” He looked them both in the eyes and then smiled, “Have a bite to eat and meet me at the truck in twenty minutes. We’ll go meet Kamaka and see if there really is an upper heiau.” He dismissed them with a bow.
“By the way, you both passed. You are now third-degree black belts. Congratulations.”
“Thank you, Sensei.” They bowed back to him, stood, bowed again to the shrine altar, and left.
The twins sat on the lanai steps and put on their trail boots. “Uncle Kamaka is always talking about this upper heiau he’s never seen. Do you think it even exists?” Daioji asked his sister as he tied his laces.
“Does it matter? It’s an awesome afternoon,” Leilani answered as she breathed in the fresh spring air. “We’ve always wanted to hike higher into that mountain. It’s as good a time as any. And if we do find his heiau it’ll make the old man happy.”
Overhead several shama birds let out their shrill cries as they raced by. The twins looked up at the same moment, as if the sky, not the birds, was calling to them. A cloud patch appeared over the Anahola mountains, followed by a light sprinkle of rain, followed by a brightly colored double rainbow. They never tired of rainbows, especially double ones. This one was so vibrant it could hardly contain its urge to go triple. They smiled at each other as their Grandfather walked out of the house. “Let’s go,” he said in a voice of unexpected sweetness.
They gathered their water bottles, threw them in their daypacks, and took off in the old pickup truck for the short jaunt through the cane roads over to Uncle Kamaka’s.
As they drove down the road Diaoji felt his level of awareness raise up another notch. The truck’s engine purred like Yin-Yin, Puna’s cat. The chickens standing along the sides of the road appeared to be smiling. The old red-dirt cane road no longer had potholes. The rays of the sun in the sky brightened whatever he looked at. Everything was the same, but different – a difference that couldn’t be formulated into words, just noticed. As he drove into Kamaka’s fairyland ten minutes later, Daioji knew that this spontaneous field trip would be like no other. So did Leilani.
Daioji parked the truck in front of Kamaka’s shack, which was not much more than a lauhala covered lean-to, constructed with bamboo poles and twine. Not far away from them they saw their adopted uncle, a sixty-year-old bearded man whittling a face on an ohi ali’i tree branch, from which a walking stick would soon emerge. He didn’t look up, ignoring their arrival. He was like that. He was often light and friendly, but in his heiau Kamaka took on another persona. Here he was the kahuna and guardian of this most sacred place, and felt compelled to look and act the role so visitors, by his example, would know it as a place of reverence.
“What have you noticed about today so far?” Grandfather asked the twins as Daioji turned off the engine.
“Besides nailing both the hula and Aikido? Everything seems to have a special shine,” Daioji quickly answered.
“It’s a perfect spring day,” Leilani agreed. “A great day for a hike.”
“Indeed . . .” Grandfather smiled as they looked at Kamaka, casually dressed in a drab pareo tied around his waist, exposing his ample body covered with tattoos from head to toe. The tattoos even snaked up his neck, across one side of his face, up to where they met his coarse graying black hair. A wild Santa Claus beard meandered comfortably down from his chin, resting on the mountain slopes of his chest.
Grandfather sat silently for several minutes, looking off into nothing. The twins waited, respecting his practice of silent prayer. When a gecko plopped down on the windshield he came back from wherever his mind had wandered, and chuckled to himself.
“Grandfather, are you all right?” Leilani asked.
“As right as I’ve ever been. Are you ready? You know that old expression – this is the first day of the rest of your life – well, that is literally true, beginning this very moment.” Grandfather grinned as he opened the passenger door and stepped out. There is so much in store for you in this week to come, if everything turns out as planned.
“Howz’it, Uncle?” Daioji said as he walked up to the old kahuna. “Got any new tattoo’s?” Kamaka’s body was more of a navigational map than decorative tribal artwork. The simplicity and intricacy of the spiraling, sacred geometric patterns looked similar, but much different than the Hawaiian, Tahitian or Polynesian tattoo designs that were a part of the local culture. One by one, these glyphs had come to him in the order of his ability to receive and articulate the messages. The twins had been raised hearing stories of the events printed on Kamaka’s body. He always hesitated in sharing the meanings of the symbols with the twins. He felt that they wouldn’t be able to digest them in a logical sequence until the time was right. He knew that each story triggered and opened long-sleeping genetic memory they would understand more consciously only with more life experience.
“Nah, no new tattoo’s. What do you think of my stick?” He jabbed it at Daioji. “I’ll stick it to ya.” Kamaka laughed through his few remaining ivory teeth. “Come see the upper heiau, yah?” he glanced up at them through the corners of his eyes.
Leilani nodded as her eyes traveled across Kamaka’s body in fascination. The tattooed map inscribed across his chest and down his belly was of stars, people, planets and a galactic system that cryptically told of the legend of creation – of the migration of the people across the stars – and of the legend the twins and their halau would dance hula to in the morning, at the beginning of the Spring Equinox. The galaxies wrapped around his side and turned into sacred geometric patterns that covered his back. This was a tattooed body unlike any other they had ever seen, and its owner was a jolly old man who was just then winking at them. “You ready for your hula performance tomorrow morning? Are you going to play the nose flute, Leilani? Remember when I first taught you?”
“Yes, Uncle,” she answered with a smile, “It‘s good to see you again. You’ve been off island, yah?”
“Oh, I was gone for a few weeks. I was with my Maui ohana on the backside of Mt. Haleakala. There is much to do for the Hawaiian people. You know, keiki, one day we will unite again as a sovereign nation. A big vision. No? I have a trip planned to the Big Island soon. The elders of the Hawaiian Nation will be gathering. I’m in the Royal Order, you know. We must keep everyone conscious of the status of the indigenous Hawaiian people, yah?”
“It’s good to be a Hawaiian,” Daioji agreed, smiling at his adopted uncle. Much honor and gratitude had been given this man. His life and body were dedicated to the freedom of the Hawaiian land and people he loved so deeply, and all life. In his mind all life was created to be free.
Kamaka stood, turned toward the mountain, stretched his arms wide and immediately launched into a loud Hawaiian pule. He prayed to all his ancestors, asking them to welcome the four of them into the heiau, which was given into his care. He evoked his menehune ancestors to walk with them, to show them the way to the upper heiau. He asked for the protection of the kama pua’a, the pig god, since the land was filled with wild pigs. He implored the ‘uhane kia’i, the guardian spirits of the woods, to secure and guide their pilgrimage. And he concluded by asking Hina, the goddess of the mountain, to give the twins the lesson he felt they were ready for today. Daioji and Leilani understood the prayer.
“Today’s an important day in lots of ways,” Kamaka said to the twins. “It’s the end of the Makahiki, which began around Thanksgiving time with the rising of Na Huihui o Makali’i in the east, which we call the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. Makali’i stays in the Eastern Horizon for four months. That time is for rejoicing and playing. Now that they are descending, the season is over. Enough play. Time to get busy. Now it’s time for fighting again.”
“Come on Uncle. We’re not going to fight,” Daioji said.
“Just kidding. Today I’m going to take you to the ‘upper’ heiau. Time to find the sucker.”
“Are you sure there is an upper heiau?” Leilani wondered what he was up to.
“I know there’s one up there. I’ve been up the mountain but I’ve never seen it.”
“And you want us to find it for you?” Leilani had heard so many wild stories from Uncle Kamaka she didn’t know which ones to believe anymore.
“You keiki will find it, I know it. Trust me, it’s there and today’s the day.”
Daioji winked at his sister, who returned the gesture with a huge smile.
Kamaka, Koichi, Leilani and Daioji started their trek up the winding trail, crossing through the deliciously thick fermenting lilikoi fruit trees, fragrant banana and ancient mango groves; beneath the towering monkey-pod forest; over the house-sized lava rocks tumbled and resting in precarious positions from thousands of years ago.
“This is so beautiful,” Leilani said to Kamaka. “Why haven’t we been here before?”
“You were not ready until today,” he answered quietly as they crossed over tinkling springs flowing from small silvery waterfalls, and continued climbing up a pig trail into the deepest, thickest, bramble woods.
The brazen green jungle all around them sang out in unabashed volumes of color. Here nature did not hide or shrink from beauty’s wildest songs. Growing wild and free in paradise, this was the anthem of the goddess Laka of the forest. The perfume of the air intoxicated their senses. Here the twin’s awareness was tuned to an even higher order; the bird sounds were richer and over-toned, the colors brighter, and the mossy humus beneath their feet had turned into a soft carpet.
Kamaka stopped and put one hand on each twin’s shoulder and spoke in fluent Hawaiian, which the twins completely understood, “Do you feel the rhythm of the forest? Do you feel it synchronizing with your heartbeats?” Both nodded yes.
“Good. Listen carefully. Nature wants to speak to you.”
His words comforted the twins as they, taking the lead, continued on. They felt their oneness with nature as they paused at a stream, introduced themselves, gave blessings and asked permission to drink before continuing their journey through the hallowed groves. Nature responded, opening a trail though the thick jungle. Again Kamaka stopped and spoke Hawaiian, “Do you see now, when you give and take, how nature conspires to help you, opens her heart, unfolds her arms and welcomes you in?” The twins smiled at Uncle’s words as they continued up a trail that began to take on a new meaning.
Daioji looked back at Grandfather Koichi, who followed silently thirty feet behind, as if he was on his own journey through this sacred place. Behind him the jungle returned to its rugged beauty, as if each step he took closed a door behind him.
Moving higher up the mountain, the twins quickly out-paced the two older men and were soon out of their sight. They climbed between some huge boulders and into a dark shaded grove of low-branched trees. Daioji was focused on the sounds of the forest when, somewhere in the bushes not far away, he heard giggling and child-like laughter. He motioned for Leilani to crouch down with him. You hear it? He thought to her. They looked around and saw no one, though both were sure they heard the shrill voices calling out to them.
Come here, Diaoji heard a voice say. Over here. He looked up a little side trail.
In here, the voice beckoned.
Leilani, do you hear those voices? Daioji thought to his sister.
I do, but they’re not spoken. We’re hearing them in our minds. Listen. I think they’re coming from down the pig trail you’re on, she motioned for him to start going that way. Let’s check it out.
What about Grandfather and Uncle?
We’re not going to lose them. We’ve gotta check this out.
I’m in here. Over here. Do you see me? Do you see me? Over here. A little voice sounded in the twin’s heads.
I can’t see you, Leilani thought to the invisible nature spirit, or whoever was talking to them. We hear you. Where do you want us to go?
That depends on where you want to get to, the clear little voice answered with a giggle.
I guess we want to get to wherever you are, Daioji thought back.
Well, here you are then. It doesn’t matter which way you walk if you are already there.
Oh, I get it, Leilani looked closer to see if she could see who was talking. Wherever you go, there you are, she chuckled, delighted in this magical game.
That’s for sure, the voice answered above a spray of other little giggles. You’ll truly know where you are if only you walk far enough. Each step is the journey. Each stop is the destination. Stop or step, it doesn’t matter. Little voices within and without will guide you on your way. Come. Follow us.
Where are you taking us? Daioji asked.
You’ll see, one little voice answered as the giggling increased. Come. Not far. Follow us. We’ll take you. You’ll see.
The twins followed the tiny voice through the thick jungle, every once and a while looking back to see if Uncle and Grandfather were anywhere in sight. They weren’t. This must have something to do with our home school lesson, Daioji thought to his sister.
Everything has everything to do with your lessons, the little voice said to them. Follow the adventure and it will always lead you to the truth.
They kept following the voice through the thick underbrush, most of the way on their hands and knees, along the rough, rooted-up dirt of the pig trail, until finally the tiny voice said, You can stop now and stand up. Here we are.
Where are we? Leilani asked as they both stood. It looks like we’re still in the middle of the jungle.
Daioji and Leilani wiped the mud from their hands and cleared some green overgrowth to reveal two eight-foot high freestanding monolith stones right in front of them.
What’s behind what’s in front of you is what you want to see. The twins heard an eruption of bubbling giggles with that little nugget. Bye, bye.
Daioji carefully cleared the rest of the thicket away, revealing the most unusual dragons carved into the sides of each guardian stone. The twins bowed to the awesome presence of the dragons, asking permission to enter, and when they felt the yes in their na’au they tentatively moved between the pillars.
In front of them was a manicured grassy clearing, about forty feet in diameter. In each of the four directions, at the edge of the grass, stood a twelve-foot high monolith. In the center of the lawn was an altar. It was six feet in diameter and it stood three feet high. It appeared to be the pedestal for a fifth monolith, but the stone wasn’t there.
“This is a strange heiau,” Daioji said while looking around. “It looks like some sort of Stonehenge. This isn’t typically Hawaiian.”
Leilani walked around one of the monoliths and examined the carved-out petroglyphs, slowly running her hand over the stone. “Daioji, look at these petros! They are like Hawaiian glyphs, but . . . they’re different. They’re like a galactic map. What do you make of this?”
“I’m trying to remember where I’ve seen these before. They just seem so, you know, familiar,” Daioji answered as he slowly ran his fingers in the recessed carvings and then over the rock. “Some of them look like . . . like the ones on Uncle’s belly and across his back. Check it out. This isn’t lava or basalt. It’s very smooth . . . like some sort of hard polymer or clay.” He thought of all the many different rock types he studied in his geology research. “I’ve never seen or felt rock like this before. And the color? Dark, murky green? It doesn’t belong on Kaua’i. It’s not volcanic. It’s definitely not from Kaua’i. I don’t get it.”
“I don’t either, brother.” Leilani followed the glyphs with her finger and then stopped to listen. “Do you hear the voices?” She stood perfectly still, motioning for Daioji to do the same. They could hear faint voices talking at the same time. “It’s like dozens of radio stations broadcasting all at once,” she whispered.
“Yeah, I hear it. Choruses of chanting voices talking over each other in different dialects and languages, with strange tones and sounds,” Daioji added with excitement. “Do you hear how the words are coming forward and then recede into the background? I can’t make them out. It’s the stones! The stones are talking to us!”
“This place is way trippy,” Leilani whispered and then slipped into mu-mu. I swear I just heard our names.
Me, too, Daioji paused to listen more carefully. They’ve stopped now . . . it’s all stopped . . . there’s no sound. I can’t even hear the wind. The birds have even stopped singing. Remember the times up in Kokee with Nani when it was like this . . . where everything stopped?
She told us just to be with it, Leilani answered. She said the aumakua are giving us a sacred moment . . . a moment out of . . . time. The twins both sank down onto the grass and closed their eyes, feeling like they just dropped into a void where sound and time didn’t exist. They sat for a moment, and then, as if someone turned up the volume of life, the birds began singing again and the wind rustled through the trees.
That was cool. I don’t know if I got anything, but I feel great! Daioji said as they both stood up and went back to examining the gigantic rocks. I wonder how these rocks got here? I wish I had brought my compass. Looks like they’re set in the four directions. I’ll bet this was some sort of calendar or clock . . . but why here? Stonehenge and pyramids are right in the middle of open plains. This is butted up against a mountain. I don’t get it.
Me neither. And it’s not like any heiau I’ve ever seen before. Where are Uncle and Grandfather? I’m sure they’ll have a good explanation.
The Praying Goddess mountain – Kalalea – home of the Goddess Hina
Koichi and Kamaka stood next to huge boulders – listening. The twins had gone ahead of them and were nowhere in sight.
“They’re near,” Kamaka finally said. Koichi nodded as they looked between the boulders into the dense brush. He hadn’t said a word since leaving the truck. He was there to be a witness, nothing more. “See where they went into the brush here?” Kamaka continued. “If we follow this trail around we’ll meet up with them. If you listen real careful, you can hear the pixies talking. Not far, they say.”
The two men followed the pig trail a little higher up, stooping and ducking beneath heavy brush and around some more boulders. They too had to remove the think overgrowth, and were surprised when they found themselves standing at the south entrance of the heiau. The twins were examining one of the four huge stones.
“They found it, Koichi!” Kamaka was overjoyed as he pulled his friend into his belly for a very rare hug. “This heiau has been cloaked until now. No pig hunter, not even one relative from my family history has ever been here. Look at it now. It’s amazing! The shield has always stopped anyone from getting within fifty feet of this place. They broke through it – opened it. This is it.”
“They are the twins . . .” Koichi finally mumbled, his eyes sparkling. “Tomorrow they will . . . ”
“I know . . ,” Kamaka didn’t need to be reminded. “Begin the prophecy. I’m right with you, brother.” Kamaka patted his belly again. “The story’s tattooed all over my body. I feel the tingles.” He wondered if the symbols on the monoliths would give him more answers to their meanings.
Koichi smiled, relieved after long years of careful planning. “This is an important day for both of us, my friend. And for the twins . . . it’s just the beginning.”
Uncle Kamaka smiled and then chanted an ancient pula, thanking every god and goddess he could think of, especially Hina, for opening the heiau. Concluding with a loud “HA,” he entered the sacred site for the first time. In his travels around the Hawaiian Islands he had never seen one like this, with the four enormous stones arranged so perfectly. Without a doubt, he thought to himself, they’re from the ancient time of Mu, and placed with the use of a technology we have yet to discover.
Leilani felt the excitement of her uncle as he slowly came toward them. “Aloha Uncle. That was a beautiful chant. You were right. There is an upper heiau. Thanks for bringing us here.”
“You led the way, not me. How did you find it?”
“We heard little voices. Nature spirits. They lead us through the jungle,” Leilani offered.
“You listen well, keiki. If you no listen you no go . . . you know what I mean?” Kamaka joked as he began to examine the stone carvings in front of him.
“These rocks are incredible,” Daioji joined in. “I can’t believe this is here. Does anyone else know about it? Who else has been here?”
“It’s been hidden for a very long time,” Kamaka said. “There have been myths about this heiau . . . and stories about me being a crazy old man making the whole thing up. I’ve seen it in my dreams, but to tell you the truth, you’re the first to discover it.”
“You gotta be kidding. I can’t believe that we just discovered this ancient heiau. We thought you and Grandfather brought us up here as part of our school lesson. Like we weren’t ready to see it . . . until we passed our black belt test . . . or something like that.”
“Uncle, you’re always joking about everything, so we don’t really know what’s true and not true. When we got halfway up the mountain I believed you. I could feel the heiau and thought you were leading us right to it. You’ve never been here?” Leilani asked.
“Never.” With that answer a strong wave of emotion swept over Kamaka. He took in several deep breaths. Intuitively he knew that this portal was a link for all Hawaiians to the Motherland of Mu. His body began to vibrate. The ancient thoughts, emotions, and experiences he carried in every cell of his body were present with him at that moment. Kamaka surrendered to his feelings as he consciously thought, I invite all my ancestors, the akua and aumakua from this and every other generation to be with me this moment in this most sacred Mu heiau. I call for the highest ho’oponopono, that all the past be healed and made right, and that everything that wasn’t good, at this moment and forever be transformed into the highest good of all.
Leilani patiently waited for Kamaka’s answer. She felt a shiver go through her and knew that his answer of “never” meant more than she could image. When the moment was right she pointed at the carvings and softly spoke, “A lot of them are just like your tattoos.”
“They are,” Kamaka answered unconsciously, forcing himself to pay attention. “Let me look.” He quietly and carefully examined the glyphs on the first monolith. He put his index finger in the grooves and slowly traced the path of the lines he had instinctively downloaded in his dreams, and had tattooed on his body.
“Do you hear the voices and chanting?” Leilani was curious, wondering if only she and her brother could hear the music of the heiau.
“I do, Leilani . . . there is so much going on . . . it’s hard to focus on any one thing,” Kamaka mumbled. He was lost in deep reverence, realizing that he was the first star navigator in 13,000 years to enter this sacred site. The messages on the stones, which came in visions and then were inscribed on his body, were taking on new meanings. He felt the lines on his chest and back coming alive, as if they were about to pop out of his skin and join with those on the rocks. Why me? Why now? Tears slid down the river-lined tattoo on his cheeks. The twins were beginning to understand that this was the most important moment of Kamaka’s life.
“What do they mean, Uncle?” Daioji asked softly, conscious of Kamaka’s tears.
He didn’t answer.
What do you think, little brother? The twins switched to their mu-mu in respect of his silence.
I think that this place has the most powerful mana on the island.
Check Grandfather out over there. He’s acting pretty strange. He hasn’t even come into the heiau . . . or said a word all afternoon. He looks impatient, like he wants to leave. Daioji walked around the heiau. I feel good in here. I don’t want to go yet. I feel I know things about this place, but have no idea what or why. Although he was confused with these thoughts, there was comfort in his confusion. Its like the introduction of a good book I can’t wait to read. You know what I mean?
I know exactly what you mean. It is a book. More like a whole library.
Welcome to my sanctuary. Daioji looked around. It wasn’t Leilani’s voice, or the sounds of the nature beings that led them to the heiau.
Who are you? Daioji thought to the woman’s voice. You hearing this, sister? Leilani nodded yes.
I am Hina.
Hina? Leilani thought as she looked around, wanting to put a form to the voice. The Goddess of the Moon!
They have a whole list of things they say I’m the goddess of, she laughed. I am indeed Hina who you know of as the Goddess of the Moon. That is most relevant considering the circumstance. And you . . . my keiki . . . I am relieved that we have finally met. Your uncle is right – you listen. I have invited you into my world, into my mountain, my library, to my moon. You have taken the first important step and find yourselves standing in front of the portal into the realms of the earth and beyond. It is the portal to the crystal library of truth, the isdom of wisdom, if you know what I mean. I hold what you are seeking in the palms of my praying hands.
The twins looked at each other, unsure what all those words meant. They then glanced down to the ground, as though she had asked them to. A sweet fragrance filled the air as beautiful flowers of all colors sprang up around the base of the monoliths. There were lavenders and roses, daisies and azaleas, plumeria, hibiscus and birds of paradise, tulips and white water lilies, all surrounded by maidenhair ferns. And above all the flowers were two black orchids.
Eat the love which you are, Hina invited them.
Eat what? The flowers? Daioji asked.
Indeed. The purity and love of the blossom will bloom in your souls, and enliven your spirit as you take your living aloha out into the world.
Daioji reached for a white plumeria, and Leilani a white orchid.
The black ones, Hina instructed. The orchids. Remember, keiki, not everything is white. You must carry within you the balance of black and white. Find strength in the darkness. Balance it always with the light, and in doing so you will respond with natural power. You will be doing the right thing at the right time.
The twins brought the black orchids to their mouths and slowly ate them. Grandfather watched from a distance, grinning.
Always trust the balance of your heart and your na’au, your gut. Hina’s voice started to fade. Live aloha. I will wait for your return.
As Daioji swallowed he felt the orchid warming his belly, and then heightening his senses. This all seems like a dream, a very long dream. My body is all tinkling. Do you feel it?
I do. It’s like I’ve just walked onto a huge stage on opening night without a script and I’m the leading actor. I’m not prepared and yet . . . I don’t really know why . . . I’m like . . . ready. Ready for what? I don’t know. I’m ready to go. I don’t know where, but I’m ready. Does that make sense?
Totally. I feel great. Something very different just happened. It’s like the beginning – not the end. Hina is inviting us somewhere to do something, or learn something . . . I’m feeling an exciting anticipation . . . I don’t know for what. We’ll have to come here again. Maybe tomorrow.
Right on. Leilani smiled and touched his hand. This has been a golden day for sure, brah. She put her hand on her heart and with her brother walked from stone to stone, feeling a new sense of peace, gratitude and aloha. She then went to the center of the circle and climbed on the top of the altar. Mahalo, Hina, she thought. A hui ho, until we meet again.
` The twins then went over to where Kamaka was still lost in contemplation. They wanted to share what happened with their uncle, knowing he would appreciate that Hina had spoken to them. “Uncle Kamaka,” Daioji spoke softly, not wishing to barge in on the man’s contemplation. “The mother of this mountain, you know, Hina, the Goddess of the Moon? She just spoke to us. I bet you speak with her all the time, yeah?”
Kamaka smiled as he looked at Daioji. Then, quite unexpectedly, he let out a howling belly laugh that shook the entire universe tattooed on his chest. “Hah! You kilo uhane naturally, I see. You hear the Mother now. You be all right. Hah, hah,” he said as his belly shook with more earth-quaking rolls, “The Mother, she talks to you. That is good thing. Did you eat the black orchids?”
“Did you see us do that?” asked Daioji.
“No, I didn’t have to. I live on this land. She feeds me too. She comes to the lower heiau. We breathe together. I drink her water. Bathe in her streams. Eat her flowers. I listen to what she has to say. Mother has always talked to our family. With her man Asha, or Nou Nou, who you call Sleeping Giant, she watches over this great island of Kaua’i. They are giants who once moved freely on the land. They rest now, waiting for the day when the prophecy comes . . . when Ku becomes Ki again. It’s all written here in these carvings.”
“We’ve never seen rocks like these,” Leilani offered. “They aren’t lava. They’re not from here. The carvings are a lot like your tattoos, Uncle. And there are other symbols here that aren’t on your body.”
“Looks like your body ran out of space,” Daioji joked.
“I still have places for tattoos you’ve never seen,” Kamaka said with a laugh. “It’s true though – I’ve never seen some these glyphs before. I’ve been listening. They are speaking to me.”
“What are they saying?” Daioji was fascinated.
“It’s a long story, Daioji. Too long to talk story now. I can tell you this – they have been here since the time of Mu. The top symbol is a woman . . . possibly Teave, the Mother of Creation of our people. The symbols below her show the migration of our ancestors from other planets to the Ki Earth. There is the Ki Earth symbol. Looks like it splits into Ki and Ku, two earths, and then, back to Ki, just like in the prophesy chant.” Kamaka was silent for a minute while thinking to himself. This must have been carved after the shift. They were carved . . . here? “That’s all I can tell you. When we come back we’ll take the time to study the glyphs on each rock and listen to its message. This is what you came for, yah? To listen to the nature beings, to Hina and the sacred stones. Hina and the stones have more to tell. We’ll come back soon, yeah?”
“Yeah,” the twins answered in unison.
“I must be by myself with Her now. I stay. You go, my keiki. You go – now.” Kamaka pointed toward their grandfather.
“That’s it?” Leilani didn’t want it to end.
Uncle Kamaka gave them both a hug. “You both be brave. Remember aloha. That’s what’s most important . . . aloha. Never forget. Now you must go. The trail will be easy for you to find. I love you.”
“We love you too, Uncle,” Daioji said, wondering why the ‘I love you’ words were said, while in the past it was always naturally implied. “We’ll see you soon?”
“For sure. Remember to listen. You listen good, keiki.” Kamaka turned and continued his contemplation. The wind suddenly picked up and began blowing his long hair, making him look like he himself was one of the gods he prayed to. The twins could almost image the heiau filled to capacity with every last one of Kamaka relatives, all standing behind him, listening to his story of the messages on his body and the rocks.
The twins hurried to where their Grandfather stood patiently waiting for them. When they reached him, they glanced back at the heiau and then up at the massive mountain in front of them, to the hands of the legendary Praying Goddess, remembering what she said about it being a library.
If the heiau is a book, Leilani mu-mu’d to her brother, I wonder what’s inside of that mountain? A whole library? What kind of library?
Don’t know. She said the heiau was an entrance, a portal. A portal into the earth and the moon? Whatever that means.
I can hardly wait to find out. Uncle will bring us back. I’m sure, or we can come back by ourselves. We know those little pixies will help us if we get lost.
“Your grandmother said she’ll be cooking up something special tonight.” Grandfather broke the silence. “Passing your black belt test and finding the hidden heiau, all in one day, is quite an accomplishment. Let’s go home,”
The twins hiked down the mountain in silence, with their grandfather again trailing behind. His thoughts were about his two precious grandchildren, and his wife Puna. Their ability to communicate with dolphins and nature spirits came from their time spent with their grandmother, and their Uncle Kamaka, not him. Koichi knew that without their training the twins would never have been able to hear the pixies and talk to Hina. They would not have found the heiau, which was the beginning of everything he had planned for them. It’s because of the Hawaiian teachings . . . I didn’t imagine they would be so important. Puna has made the extraordinary seem ordinary. Now I don’t know what I would have done without her.
“Grandfather, that was awesome! We actually found the heiau. Why do you think we found it and not somebody else – like Kamaka, or Grandmother, or one of the other powerful Hawaiian kahunas?” Daoiji asked once they were in the truck.
Koichi scooted up on his seat. His soft gaze touched his grandson like a dear kiss. “I’m sure you have the answer to that question. You know so much more than you realize. All these wise old teachers have stories to tell, lessons to teach, but the wisest of them all always talk about children being their teachers. We hate to admit it, but an ounce of innocence is worth more than a pound of knowledge. Your grandmother and I have guided you the best we know how, but in the end it is your ears that hear and your eyes that see. Your life is your teacher. Your inner wisdom tells you what to do next. I can only imagine what you heard and saw up on that mountain, but something tells me that you have just received your birthright. You’ve passed two very important test today and now you’re ready for the journey ahead of you.”
“What journey would that be?” Daioji queried, as he turned the keys and started the engine.
“The next step. No more questions for now. Let’s keep the heiau is our secret, until Kamaka is ready to share it with his people.”
“I’m hungry,” Leilani said, changing the energy. “I wonder what great feast Nani has prepared for us. Let go home.”
The Purple Crystal Sphere, The Purple Crystal Mask, The Purple Goddess
Daioji and Leilani showered after they returned home from their hike to the upper heiau. It had been a long day and this was the first time they’d had a chance to relax. They were tired and hungry – and the reality of the heiau was sinking in deeper, filling their minds with many more unanswered questions. Where did those monoliths come from? What was HIna’s message all about? Is the mountain really filled with crystals and records of some kind? Leilani thought.
And Daioji: Did Hina really invite us in? What secret is in her hands? What is in that mountain? What was Grandfather trying to tell us all day today? And why did he stop talking and suddenly feel so distant?
“Keiki. Come to dinner,” Puna yelled from the kitchen. Both twins quickly dressed and left their rooms at the same time as their grandfather. Koichi still appeared to be in a distant world.
The three quietly sat down and looked at the enormous amount of food in front of them. Puna had spent the afternoon cooking, and now spread before them a feast of ahi lau lau, macadamia nut crusted opah, Hanalei poi, fresh garden honey coated yams, grilled eggplant on a bed of shitaki mushrooms, a yogurt/cucumber salad lined with fresh avocado, potato salad surrounded by sprigs of parsley, and for desert, Daioji’s favorite, lilikoi pie. The three couldn’t believe the feast in front of them.
She turned off all the house lights except the dimmed light above them, put some soft music on and sat down next to her husband. Puna smiled at each of them and then gave a blessing for the food. “May this food give you strength. Give you courage in the days ahead of you. Remind you of how precious your ohana is and the teachings of aloha.” The twins both looked at her, and wondered what the formal blessing was all about. I’m not getting all this ‘days ahead’ talk, Daioji thought. And what’s with all this food?
Don’t know, Leilani thought back. Both of them are acting kinda weird. Somehow Nani must have found out what we went through up on the mountain and is celebrating it like a great occasion. Maybe it’s our black belt . . . I wonder how she could have known to have brought all this food together for us today. It’s like the last meal before our execution.
“Go on. Eat. You all look too serious. I have prepared your favorite food tonight.”
They just sat staring at the food. “It’s getting cold. Better eat.” Puna opened her arms to all the food in front of her.
Not able to contain himself any longer Daioji said, “What’s going on, Nani?”
“I decided to cook something special tonight. It’s no big deal. I love my family. Besides, you keiki have had quite a day. You were perfect with your hula. You earned another black belt. That’s worth a celebration, yah? And your grandfather told me you found the upper heiau, just like Kamaka said you would. Don’t you think you deserve a special meal after all you’ve done today?”
“I guess so,” Daioji confessed. “I almost forgot about the black belt. That was fun. Did he tell you we did it all blindfolded?”
“Yes, he did,” Puna answered as she smiled at her beloved husband of thirty-six years, the man who nurtured the paradise in the paradise she loved so passionately. I wonder what will become of him in the days to come? she thought to herself as she instinctively stood up and moved behind him to rub his shoulders, knowing full well why the three were so lost in thought. They got an overload of information up on the heiau and he hasn’t told them enough. He has his own ways of dealing with things I don’t always understand. He is such an enigma . . . my enigma.
“Go ahead, eat.” She smiled at the twins as she moved over to Leilani and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Daioji grabbed a lau-lau and started in.
Twenty minutes of silent eating followed. Finally Leilani realized that the energy of the room was way too heavy and it was up to her to change it. “I can’t wait for spring vacation,” she burst out as she finished her last lau-lau. “Me and the girls are going dancing, surfing the bay, picking kehelelani shells, diving off of Shipwreck cliff, and of course, I’ll be seeing Pako.”
Blending, Daioji thought, wondering why no girl wanted to blend with him. Pako was the guy his sister dated for the first time last week. He didn’t like Pako, but wasn’t exactly sure why.
“Don’t forget about Japan,” Grandfather’s words were completely ignored.
“Did I mention that Pako is taking me to the Makana concert? Friday night. I just can’t wait, it’s too–o-o-o outrageous.”
“Jake’s going to be there, too. Maybe I’ll go,” Daioji added, looking over at his Grandfather, who was staring at a gecko walking along the top of the kitchen cabinets.
“We’ll see,” Puna said. “Try the lilokoi pie, Daioji. I made it especially for you.”
Everyone was half listening as Leilani continued on with her dreamy fantasies. She paid little attention to the ringing phone. Puna answered and after a brief conversation said, “It’s your father.” A sudden and stark stillness filled the room. Koichi and Puna glanced at each other in a knowing way.
“Father” was not the word they hoped to hear. The twins not only didn’t want to go to Japan to see their father, they didn’t want to be reminded of their mother. Although it had been eleven years since the twins were with Pualani, the shadow memories of her were always present, magnified when they were around their father. Every day until they were five years old their lives were filled with the presence of this beautiful and loving mother. Then suddenly one day, she was gone. Disappeared. No one knew what had happened to her.
At the time of her disappearance, Kozo, their father, was spending most of his time in Japan starting his telecommunications business. He brought Pualani and their children to Kyoto to show them the large tract of land he had just purchased on Mt. Kurama. It was on that land she disappeared. Kozo searched desperately for her. In addition to the police and forensic lab investigations, he hired teams of men and dogs. They walked every inch of his land and beyond, and never found a trace of her.
Kozo was distraught. He sent the five-year-old twins back to Kaua’i to be raised by their grandparents. To bury his grief, Kozo put his time and energy into building Japan’s leading satellite communications empire, Nippon Electronic Telecommunications, The NET, making him one of Asia’s wealthiest businessmen. Every spring he would bring his children to Kyoto for a short visit on their birthdays. Now that they were active teenagers their interest in visiting had waned.
“I don’t want to talk to him,” Leilani blurted out. “Daioji, tell him that we’re not coming this year like you said you would.”
Daioji politely took the phone, “Konban wa Father. Ogenki desu ka? How are you?” He listened. “We decided that we’re not coming this year.” He listened, proud that he said what he wanted to say. Kozo was giving Daioji the same speech he gave every year. Making promises he wouldn’t keep. “It’s important that we stay home this year,” Daioji answered. As he listened his shoulders began to droop. His father was informing him that staying in Kaua’i was not an option. The tickets were already bought and they were to leave first thing in the morning. He reminded his son that arguing with his father was disrespectful. Daioji sighed. “But do we really have to leave tomorrow!?”
“Tomorrow!” Leilani yelled. “There is no way I’m going! I have plans!” As if she had the final word.
“How come you didn’t give us more notice?” He listened as Kozo apologized, blaming the mistake on his secretary. “Father-san, not that I’m arguing . . . just making a statement. We’re almost sixteen. We’re growing up. Leilani has a new boyfriend and they have a date to the Makana concert on Friday night. Jake is playing, too. I really want to see him. Since you hadn’t called we had already figured that we’d skip this year.” Daioji listened, dropping his head into his left palm as Kozo went on. “OK,” Daioji surrendered. “We’ll check our email for e-tickets and the itinerary. We’ll see you in Kyoto. Aloha, Father. Sayonara.” He bowed slightly to the voice of his father as he hung up the phone.
“We have to leave tomorrow at noon,” Daioji told his sister in resignation.
She pushed up from the table so enraged she couldn’t utter a word. Tears welled up in her eyes, her jaw hardened and arms crossed in front of her chest. “He always has a way of wrecking a perfectly good day . . . or life,” she blurted out. “What a jerk!”
Puna walked over to Leilani and gave her a hug, which she quickly shrugged off. “It’s only for a week, sweetie.” That didn’t quell her upset, as she anchored firm in front of her grandmother, like a cat ready to pounce. “Listen to me, Leilani. You have something to teach your father. You keep waiting for him to come up with the right words, to do the right thing. Maybe it’s you who have the right words for him, and will do the right thing for him. You are being given an opportunity to share the aloha that’s in your blood . . . far away from the safety of your home. You must go. One week will be over quickly. You’ll have plenty of weekend nights to spend with your friends and that boy Pako. Before you know it summer will be here.” For the first time she felt she had just lied to Leilani. In truth, she knew that after today Leilani’s life would never be the same.
Daioji slumped down to finish his second helping of lilokoi pie in silence, hiding his feelings, resigned to his fate. I should have given him no options . . . told him we weren’t coming no matter what. I let my sister down. He thought about his Aikido training and the fact that he was now a third degree black belt. Be flexible. Resilient. Flow with the energy that is. Maybe it’ll be different this time. Maybe I’ll finally get to know him. Maybe I have something to teach him . . . we’ll see . . . maybe he’ll surprise me and be a real father for once . . . whatever that’s supposed to be.
Leilani looked at her brother and then at the ceiling fan spinning around. She felt like the dust on the top of the blades – stuck, powerless, with no choice.
She went to her room and shut the door. Lying on her bed in the evening shadows, Leilani searched through all her emotions until, exhausted, she sank into a lucid dream:
She is in the heiau, standing with her brother next to the central monolith. Hina appears, angelic and majestic and beautiful; radiantly transparent. The goddess scoops up Leilani and Daioji up in her arms and walks right through the rocks and into the mountain. They are in a vast cavern filled with billions of precious stones, geodes, and twinkling, flying baby stars. “This is the secret library I was telling you about,” the goddess says to the twins as she hands Leilani a silvery Black Sphere. “Every world has a secret library. Every mind has one. Every cell has one. Wake up, Leilani, wake up.”
With these words Leilani woke, confused, but with excitement welling up inside her.