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On the north east side of the island of Kauai the tumultuous Hanakapiai waterfall pours out of the sky and crashes into the earth 300 ft below.

The Hawaiians believe waterfalls have cleansing powers.

They call the sacred and powerful element, Wailele. If you wade in the waters, the person you were before is said to wash away and a new one emerge. The summer of last year, I went on quest to experience this cleanse.

When I stood on this small island where the ocean mixed with the wind, Waiele Hanakapiai called my name. I climbed to the base of Hanakapiai Falls but to say I made that journey would be a lie, because the journey made me.

The journey to witness the waterfall was a test of wills. The four mile hike sent me climbing the mountainous rain-forest, scaling the edge of the island where waves crashed eons below, trekking through mud that intended to swallow me whole, wading through rivers that teased of the water roaring impatiently above, and daunted me to quit by drying my desire with the sun while soaking my sweat in humidity. I spent the hours listening to the thoughts in my head until the thoughts were drowned out by the steady drum of the earth’s heartbeat all around me.

When I reached my destination, I presented myself dirty, exhausted, battered and bruised. I removed all my worldly possessions and climbed to the rocks behind the waterfall. As I lowered myself into the water, I took my last breath. Numbness attacked me in one crisp, cold crash. I pushed off the rocks and swam hard and fast through the pouring water towards the pool it filled.

The current and the pressure worked together to pulled me down and dared me to give up. I kicked until I was sure my legs would fall of. My lunges strained for the breath they could not take. When I could no longer fight the pain and the weight, I let it all go.

I accepted what was and embraced what I could not control.

It was then, I floated to the surface and emerged on the other side of the fall. I was cleansed.

I laid on my back and let the water rush into my ears and over my skin. I listened to the pounding of the fall and was no longer afraid. I was one with the water. I swam to the depths of the pool and the cold became a comfort. I could not remember who I was before that moment, for she no longer existed. I could not tell how long that moment lasted for it was when time both stood still and raced around me. I was not afraid; I was renewed.

Hawaiian natives will tell you legends of the many waterfalls and the powers that they hold.

As spirits, we are drawn to water. As souls we are purified.

So I too will speak of the power of the Wailele.

I am now a part of the energy that makes up the Wailele.

I have been made new.


Thanks for sharing in my journey!

Remember to have fun while flying through this crazy thing called life!

(Brought over from 06-14-2016)

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