If You Know Aloha

There is really not enough room on the World Wide Web for me to write everything I could or would want to say about Hawaii … I have tried to say it best in this song If You Know Aloha.

I will always consider Hawaii as “where I am from” because it is where my head, heart, feelings, behavior and way of looking at things relates back to … I see with Hawaiian eyes so to speak, I know and live with the spirit of aloha.

There are meanings for the term aloha … when you are greeted with a lei and aloha it is welcome to Hawaii and when you leave it is wish you well and when you go to work on “Aloha Friday” it means you get to wear a Hawaiian Shirt or Muumuu.

The spirit of aloha is another matter altogether its a feeling an understanding a connection to the land, the water, the ocean, the animals and birds and the people. It is more about respect for those things than love, it is something that is carried in the head and heart not worn or possessed. It is not something that can be given or even earned and it can be fleeting sometimes, it is a consciousness but not something that one is conscious about on a daily basis.

It is something that is developed inside, not worn on the outside but a trusted internal entity relied upon to see one through the ups and downs and to act appropriately with your surroundings … you enter the water to surf or fish with it, you take it to work, to a luau, the sport field, the hills and jungles and it is recognized by others.

If you are born in Hawaii the seed is likely there and it is nurtured by family and elders and hopefully you grow up respecting the gift and pass it on and nurture it in others. If you are not born there the infusion of the spirit takes some level of understanding and a large helping of respect for yourself and others … because that is where it starts. I was always lucky enough to be included in a circle of local “family” and it rubs off much easier that way but without the level of respect for others I would never have even been allowed to see it. Once the seed is planted it grows and eventually you see it in others then find it in yourself, it can not be purchased in the curio shops and it can not be faked, words for the most part can not describe it and people don’t go around touting it or discussing it … it is just there, you feel it or you don’t.

This song is also about my “family” in Hawaii, so many too many to write about and many unfortunately for me lost to time but there are a few that come to light every time I think about or sing this song. There is a line “you will find that everyone can do something better than you” this line relates to a particular event which I think probably infused the spark of the spirit of aloha in to my heart. My local friend one of the Kaneohe Boys and I had gone to a place in Honolulu called Kuhio Part Terrace (some will know this place) to procure some smoking material, in front of the Terrace was a fish pond with fish koi or carp pretty big fish. We sat outside next to the fish pond waiting to get let in and my friend said watch this and he proceeded to put his hand in the water and “call” the fish in a matter of a few seconds he had the fish swimming through his fingers … stoned me right there didn’t need the good bush.

I could run through hundreds of moments and events where the spirit of aloha was heavy in the air, but I won’t … you just had to be there.

I hope through some spiritual transmission my “family” gets a chance to read this and understand how much they have meant to me in my life because as the song goes “you can leave a place but you can’t leave a feeling”

Aloha nui loa


Somewhere between Hollywood and here floats and island of jade
Between where I was born and where I live is the place that powers my heart
Wrested from the natives long ago but still welcomes students of life those who seek to resist the strife

Warm sun rolling waves long black hair fresh clean air cooling winds on sun tanned skin
It could take years maybe a decade or two to wash your soul clean
Such beauty outside and in its where Aloha lives
It takes an understanding but sometimes understanding is a virtue hard to find
You will find that everyone can do something better than you
And that forgiveness is something that we can all learn to do

To the locals the land and water it is oh so dear     if you can embrace the life you can see clear
You will be a part of the family and be one with the jewels
When you’ve learned your lessons yes you can leave But you will always be what you have become
Hold a place in the sun no matter how far you run

Lightly falling rain on emerald blue green water washes over the sand
Together they clear the mind clean the soul and the land
With just a touch of rage so you don’t forget who rules this place
It leaves you in awe and lets you know just how small you are

If you know Aloha then you know it all If you live Aloha then you can’t go wrong
You can leave a place but you can’t leave a feeling If you can feel Aloha then you can see for miles
If you know Aloha then you know it all  If you know Aloha   If you know Aloha   If you know Alooooooha

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