Thursday, July 16, 2009

Royal Visit

Honored Guests:
Japan's Emperor Akihito and wife Empress Michiko

“Oh while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me.”
Walt Whitman
No Shadows!

"Whatever you are, be a good one."
Abraham Lincoln

Blooming in Manoa Valley

If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?”
Kahlil Gibran

A Lovely Shower Tree

He planted the tree in 1960.

He was a taller, younger man then.

Yesterday they drove him and his wife directly from the airplane to visit the tree. It had grown tall in the 40 plus years, and it waited, blooming as if in welcome - for it is July in Honolulu.

The visit to the tree would be his only public event.
School children, and reverential seniors made up most of the crowd, waiting patiently. Most held small US and Japanese flags. The children were from a Japanese Language school here in town. The seniors remembered years of hard work, years of war, years of life's struggles. But today their faces glowed.
The children were learning their family culture - the seniors had lived it. They all wanted to see and to honor the world's only remaining Emperor: Akihito of Japan and his Empress Michiko.

The emperor walked over to where the children waited and spoke to them quietly in Nihongo, the Japanese language that they study. Until MacArthur ruled in Tokyo this man's father and predecessors were considered living Shinto Deities. To receive a medal, a letter, or to be in his presence, was believed to convey a tangible "blessing" or "initiation" similar to those bestowed by Shinto Priests in their magical nature ceremonies. Free of temporal power, the imperial couple now bestows their blessings purely on a basis of heart and spirit.

A child may think of a ruler as able to live according to royal whim, but it seems that these guests of ours live a life of service to others, to an ideal. Protected, feted & honored, they are not free as you and I are simply to stroll unmolested on the beach here at Waikiki but must see it beyond a velvet rope.

All Hawaii seems touched to host these very special guests. They remind us who we are and where many of us came from; that there is more to life than practicality.

As King Canute showed many ages ago, a sovereign's power is limited. He may not order the surf to recede. But the bonds of love, and the tides of gene & blood, flow undimmed even in our 21st Century.

Today was Lahaina Noon here in Honolulu. Twice a year the noonday sun stands directly above, casting no shadow anywhere. In another fifty years, or a hundred, you, me and the Emperor will reside only inside history.
But Lahaina Noon will revisit on it's appointed day, and the shower tree at Kapiolani Park might still be blooming away the Summer.
Perhaps a grandma or grandma will tell their keiki (kid/kids): "That's where I met an Emperor when I was your age."

Yes, these are the good days. May we live them to the full!

Aloha my Friends! Cloudia