Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 10, 2022

Kānewawahilani 2022

My dream revealed to me a massively wide ʻohia tree which also stood unimaginatively tall because of how it pierced the clouds.

My dream revealed that my daughter was still attending her old charter school and that they had ventured out on a hiking field trip where her class and teacher had encountered the giant of a ʻohia tree. It was here that all parents were instructed to pick up their children after school was done. When I arrived, my daughter's classmates and her teachers were in tears as they pointed into the upper reaches of the koa tree. Her clothes and shoes lay strewn about the branches the higher they went.

 "The tree took her," her teacher told me with difficulty as she tried to fight back her tears. "The branches reached down and took her up there," she pointed.

"This is no ordinary tree," I replied. "ʻOhia is indicative of a particular kind of Hawaiian god."

Without further discussion, I climbed into the tree to retrieve my daughter. Every ten feet, I encountered a heiau carved entirely out of ʻohia. The artistry and craftsmanship left me speechless. Whoever the architect was, possessed otherworldly abilities. I finally found her, sitting alone, legs crossed, back straight, appearing more mature than her ten years. I hugged her and cried, and as we descended down the ʻohia, she kept reassuring me that everything was fine and I had no need to worry. We were finally on solid ground. My daughter reassured me again that all was well, but with a very unusual tone of maturity in her voice. 

"What is wrong with you?| I asked. "Why are you talking like that?"

"I am Kānewawahilani," now, her voice was that of a man with a deep vibrato that shook the ground each time it spoke. "This child is a flower from a branch of this great tree which Kū has allowed me to descend to reach those who are my family, such as this little one."

Never before have I raised my voice to my child, much less than disciplining her once for answering her grandmother with, "What?" I have never called her names nor used foul words against her. Yet, I found myself scolding her, demanding that she fight this thing that possessed her body. She surfaced briefly and said, "I do not want to come out; if I do, I will never be able to return home."

What a strange dream.

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