Malama Ka’aina

Next Hawaii Life Hawaiian Sandalwood Tree Planting Day is Friday, November 13th! It is not just about planting trees, it is about relationshipping with the land.

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Our Hawaii Life Big Island Community Action Group’s participation in the Sandalwood Reforestation Project on the slopes of Mauna Kea is strong and ongoing. November will be month three of our participation and we are making a difference. We have helped plant over 350 sandalwood trees in the last couple months! It is not only educational, it is fun and very rewarding. We were rewarded last month by a hawaiian hawk flying overhead and to be accompanied by pueo throughout the day!

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Giving to the land in this way has been a very spiritual experience for me personally; it brings me joy, gives me a sense of purpose, and contributes to my genuine care for the land. As Realtors, we develop a relationship with the land, whether we are aware of it or not, and it is important to nurture and understand that relationship. Knowing that I am contributing to the health and longevity of this precious island home, gives my “job” much more meaning.

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I was recently accused of having a lack of respect for the land simply because I am a Realtor. That accusation struck a strong cord in my body and made me feel physically ill! This land raised me, continues to support me, and I have utmost respect and appreciation for my island home. I may not have Hawaiian blood, but my love for this island runs deep in my soul. To have someone make that assumption about me because of my job was not okay. My initial reaction was the desire lash out in return, but rather, I consulted with this precious land and it confirmed, more than ever before, that my core values are in line with the notion of Malama Ka ‘Aina, meaning to care for and live in harmony with the land. By simply taking care of and respecting the land, it will sustain life, just as it has mine. This is a straightforward relationship and has been honored for thousands of years, since the Polynesians followed the stars to the shores of Hawai'i. Part of Malama Ka `Aina is everyone doing their share, no matter how big or how small. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is one great example. Now it’s your turn: What do you do to take care of the land?

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