A Song, a Place, a Home.

Anthony, Sadie, and Hayley

We will miss you, Anthony and Hayley. Thank you, Hayley,  for sharing your thoughts and your feelings about your time with our family at KEOLAMAULOA. Hayley sent this  a few days after they moved to North Kohala. We wish them happiness and fullfillment in their new opportunities.

The warmth of the sun floated over my closed eyelids as I belted my heart out to the bountiful and stunning backyard at Keolamauloa…“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch…like me…” I opened my eyes to see the sunlight dance across the flourishing, flower garden Anthony created, and then turned to face the glistening ripples in the pond.  I continued to sing with all my power, so that even the toads at the bottom of the pond could hear, “I was once lost, but now am found…”
I have a personal tradition of singing ‘Amazing Grace’ whenever I leave a place that has changed me. It began the summer I started work at Camp Manito-wish. I was 19 and embarking on my first self-manifested adventure.  I packed up my car, walked out to the dock and sang ‘Amazing Grace’ to Lake Julia like a personal concert for a queen. The summer following that epic, goodbye ballad was perhaps the best summer of my life. Ever since, I have superstitiously attached singing to places that have changed me as good luck for the next adventure. Since that day, I have sung to a crowd of chickens on a dirt road in Costa Rica, to the majestic valleys of the Andes Mountains, to city streets in Madison, WI, to secluded lakes in Ontario, to glacial peaks in Alaska, to Sun Circle farm, to backyards in Bloomington, and countless times, I have returned to serenade Lake Julia.  It is always the same song, ‘Amazing Grace.’ and, if possible, it is the very last thing I do before I leave. Car packed, water bottle filled, doors locked…I walk out, sing, and leave with the song resonating through me.

As I sing, I savor the place and time to which I am singing. I think about the ways it has changed me and all the ways in which I love it. I consider the contours it has carved…

“tis Grace hath brought me here thus far, and Grace will lead me home…”  I fingered the brass key to our apartment in my pocket as I sang this line and my eyes welled with tears a bit remembering what Kaye said to me, “This has been your home, you know that, right?” Yes. I feel that.  Anthony and I are remarkably lucky to have spent 10 months living at Keolamauloa. It has been our home here on the island and our family. The generosity and kindness Kaye, Sally, Keith, Kia’i, Jake, Kavika, and Sofia showed us has grounded us to this place, the Big Island, and filled us with a generosity of spirit that overflows. Not only has this place, time and community afforded us new knowledge and experience about everything from cooking taro to catching chickens, and harvesting bananas, it has given us a sense of home in the midst of a huge transition to a new place. I can’t imagine moving here and renting an isolated house or apartment, we would have so alone and we would have missed so much.  Watching Jake pound poi, learning about the art scene on the island from Keith and Sally, talking to Kaye about the cultural differences between Hawai’i and the mainland, attending a wedding of two flowers hosted by Kia’i…the list goes on. To say we are grateful is not enough.  We will take and remember this warm feeling of welcome and of home wherever we go.

I modify the last verse only slightly when I sing, “When we’ve been here ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing earth’s praise, than when we’ve first begun…”  Wherever Grace leads us next, I know we will continue to sing the praises of Hamakua, of Keolamauloa and of Kaye, Sally, Keith, Kia’i, Jake, Kawika and Sofia who welcomed us home.

Aloha~ Hayley

  • From our Guestbook

    If you want to get away from the commercial touristic experience of Hawaii this is the place to stay at. The two-bedroom rental is charming and fully functional with full kitchen, outside BBQ and Hot tub! This place will give you a sense of the local life style, making you feel at home and never wanting to leave. I have stayed twice at the Keolamauloa farm and my wife and I can't wait to come back.
    Jean-René (Calgary, Canada)

    This is our favorite place to stay on the island. The property is warm and inviting, and even has a hot tub! They're solar operated, grow several varieties of fruits and veggies, have a huge pet pig, a chicken coop, etc. This part of the island also has endless opportunity for exploration.
    Rebecca H.

  • Life at Keolamauloa

    Gardenias outside the window Taro, almost ready to harvest Lovely ladies. Sally sanding her work outside the studio. lettuce pineapple...YUM