The final stop of our film journey was the island of Oahu, Hawaii. After nearly two months of intensive work and travel, we were glad to be in this lovely place.
We filmed in the amazing Kualoa Regional Park, on Kane'ohe Bay. On one side, a beautiful beach extends. In the water, a small peaked island Moko li'i beckons. On the other side, the dramatic Ko'oloau mountain range rises, with lush green foliage covering its ancient folds and ripples. This was a sacred place of training for young royals in Hawaii's history. The long green mountain range was said to be like a dragon reclining, with the tip of his tail, Moko li'i, rising from the water.
The three dancers of Maluhia Ke Aloha (Peace through Love) arrived at our location in the early morning light. We were amazed to see that Mahina Rye-lee Cracknell, Leilani Soon and Celeste Mosqueda, had sewn the long coconut palm leaves by hand to create their skirts, and that they wore fresh hibiscus blossoms in their hair.
Their beautiful dance movements shared the message; "All mankind become one family under your gentle wing" ("Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.") This is one of the most beautiful and haunting passages in Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
We learned that in traditional Hawaiian culture, the message contained in Beethoven's stirring symphony has been clearly understood. Their culture honors the divine in every part of life. "Aloha" means "To share the same Divine breath" which is simply "to love, to welcome, to honor, to respect deeply, to connect with the soul of every human person." Dance, music, and human connection are intrinsic.
The beautiful artistry of the dancers, the overwhelming natural beauty of the landscape, and the deep heart of the Hawaiian culture, perfectly expressed Beethoven's passionate message of love for the entire world. A deep spirituality seems to permeate every facet of life here. We felt "at home" in so many ways.
I was amazed, once again, to find that the message of the film is already present within the deep heart of this culture. Ancient wisdom of each of the nations we encountered seems to share a universal longing to live in joy with all people, members of a single human family.
Saying goodbye is hard after making such a deep conneciton. The beauty of "Aloha" is that even as we part, we still proclaim the same sharing of the divine breath with each other. In greeting or leaving, we agree--we are always sharing the one love, one heart, one spirit. Mahalo, to our Hawaiian family. You are our treasure.