The Campo Santo at Cimarron, New Mexico

Grounded in the local landscape and integral to the traditions and cultural identity of the people of northern New Mexico are their cemeteries. Campo Santo is the Spanish word for burial ground. During the New Mexico colonial period when Catholic churches were first built the deceased were buried in walled enclosures near the church. Later as space became limited cemeteries were built on the outskirts of the growing towns. The symbolism found at a Campo Santo in New Mexico testifies to the deep religious faith that has sustained the people here since the time of the early Spanish settlers.

New Mexico 075The last rights have been given, the prayers all said, there are no more words. Only memories remain. In a few decades they too will fade away. Continue reading

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Church Architecture of Old Hawai’i

The Built Environment refers to the human-made surroundings.

Early Hawaiians altered the land to a minor degree for agricultural purposes, for village and home sites and the construction of stone heiau for religious practices. People ventured to the upland forests to gather wood, poles and cut trees for canoe building and to tend some small garden plots but settlements were primarily built along the coastline as the ocean provided an abundance of food resources. In the early 1800s modern construction techniques and materials were introduced to the islands and a new built environment began to emerge. Some of the first  buildings to be erected were Protestant churches.

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The Hawaiian Islands were not known to the wider world until the 1778 voyage of discovery by British explorer Captain James Cook. After that time the islands became a convenient stop for merchant sailing ships conducting trade with China. European and American vessels would stop to replenish supplies, make repairs and engage in barter with the native people. The first immigrants to settle in the islands were Protestant missionaries from the U.S. New England states of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Their legacy and influence are still evident today.

The first missionaries aboard the brig Thaddeus sailing out of Boston for 163 days arrived in Kailua Bay, Hawai’i April 4 1820. The company included Two Ordained Preachers Hiram Bingham and his wife Sybil and Asa Thurston and his wife Lucy; Two Teachers, Mr. Samuel Whitney and his wife Mercy and Samuel Ruggles and his wife Mary; A Doctor, Thomas Holman and his wife Lucia; A Printer, Elisha Loomis and his wife Maria; A Farmer, Daniel Chamberlain, his wife and five children. Succeeding companies of missionaries continued to arrive through the mid-19th century, heavily influencing change in Hawaiian society as well as advancing developments in education, organization of government and entrepreneurship. The strict Calvinist leaning New Englanders also exhorted the natives to to adopt what they deemed proper clothing of woolen trousers and jackets for men and for women to be covered in a garment from neck to foot, meanwhile shaming their traditional dress, customs, and dance. What followed was a  stripping of tradition, land, political power and health from the native Hawaiians. An unforeseen consequence of the missionary salvation effort and immigration was the toll of foreign-borne smallpox and measles, which reduced the native Hawaiian population by a horrific 75 percent between Capt. Cook’s arrival in 1778 and 1853.

A debate which began 194 years ago regarding the benefits and benevolence of the New England missionaries vs. the loss of population, culture and Kingdom of Hawai’i continues today. There are no answers or judgement to be found here. We only offer a glimpse at some of the first modern buildings, the historic church architecture of old Hawai’i.

009 - CopyMokuaikaua Congregational Church est. 1820, Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. Continue reading

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A Sign of Spring is the Plumeria Tree

Also known as the Frangipani.

Spring, the sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing.
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
Thomas Nashe (1567–1601)
Summer’s Last Will and Testament (1600)
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Mauna Kea above Saddle Road, Big Island, Hawaii

Vernal Equinox and the cycle of spring, rebirth, renewal in the soil, tree and air.

Cuckoo,    jug-jug,    pu-we,    to-witta-woo

Hawaii with its sub-tropical climate hosts vegetation green and lush throughout the year. The cycle of seasons is not absent though. Fields fill with flowers and buds unfurl beginning late February and by the month of March at the time of the Vernal Equinox it becomes clear that the cycle of spring and rebirth are underway. It is not found peeping from remnants of melting snow or sprouting amongst last autumns moldering leaves. Instead one looks up to blue framed silhouettes of branches blooming forth in amazing color. There are spectacular spring blooms in the trees of Hawaii. Every year I am in awe. There are purple blossomed Jacaranda Mimosifolia, orange and yellow Silver Oak and the multitude of colors on the Plumeria tree.

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On the tips of gnarled branches clusters of plumeria flowers appear long before the leaves begin to grow.

botanical 014 Continue reading

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Perennial Fruit Rewards

Expand Your Food Base.

Add Variety…Improve Health…Advance Sustainability…Restore the Environment

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Fresh Picked

There are few things I enjoy more than walking down to the gardens edge to pick a fresh snack or gather a few fruits to place in the refrigerator to chill for later in the day.

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Green Garden

Spending time close to nature calms the heart and stills the mind for me. Continue reading

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I Might Be Here Now

“The next message you need is always right where you are.”
Ram Dass

It has been a year since I moved out of the Kaloko Cloud Forest to the small town of Holualoa where I am now. I’ve shared stories of day trips and places I’ve been but neglectful to show you the place where I rest and my own backyard. My inspirations root. Where I spend my days. It’s just a pictorial illusion but you can be here now.

“Be Here Now” is a 1971 book on spirituality, yoga and meditation by the Western born yogi and spiritual teacher Ram Dass. Forty years ago the book was the third-ranked best seller in the English language and became a unique manifesto for a generation of baby-boomers, hippies, psychedelic devotees and spiritual seekers. Somewhere at the Lower Farm there is an old and worn copy sitting on a bookshelf in memorium. I have been keeping the teachings of Ram Dass in mind lately and have included a number of his quotes for this post while I show you the neighborhood.

Nearly 30 years ago, a peculiar book called “Be Here Now” became the third-ranked best seller in the English language (after Benjamin Spock and the Bible), turning its unknown author, Ram Dass, into a household name among hippies, draft dodgers, psychedelic devotees, and spiritual seekers. The book, which has sold nearly 2 million copies to date, was completely unique, an amateurish, cut-and-paste dharma manifesto for a generation of baby boomers disillusioned by the Vietnam War and the repressive, Ozzie-and-Harriet worldview inherited from the Eisenhower establishment.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Faith-Tools/Meditation/2000/05/Why-Ram-Dass-Is-Still-Here.aspx?p=1#HgFyApu8xFLxycsl.99

Nearly 30 years ago, a peculiar book called “Be Here Now” became the third-ranked best seller in the English language (after Benjamin Spock and the Bible), turning its unknown author, Ram Dass, into a household name among hippies, draft dodgers, psychedelic devotees, and spiritual seekers. The book, which has sold nearly 2 million copies to date, was completely unique, an amateurish, cut-and-paste dharma manifesto for a generation of baby boomers disillusioned by the Vietnam War and the repressive, Ozzie-and-Harriet worldview inherited from the Eisenhower establishment.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Faith-Tools/Meditation/2000/05/Why-Ram-Dass-Is-Still-Here.aspx?p=1#HgFyApu8xFLxycsl.99I have been  keeping the teachings of Ram Dass in mind lately and have included a number of quotes from him for this post.

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View of Kailua-Kona, HI From My Back Lanai. The path that led me to here was not straight or well trodden and not always clear. It was not paved or well planned but I have done my best to stay on the path that I started walking so many years ago. I am grateful to be here now.

“Early in this journey you wonder how long the journey will take and whether you will make it in this lifetime. Later you will see that where you are going is HERE and you will arrive NOW…so stop asking.” – Ram Dass. Continue reading

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Zip Code 96740, Kailua-Kona, HI

My Town in Paradise

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Apiaries in ART

Beauty of Bee Hives.

Through the ages artists painting scenes of rural life give reference to the association of humans and honey bees. Apiaries and domestic bee keeping can be traced back to the time of the pharaohs in Egypt and the use of honey for food and medicinal use has been well documented for centuries. Apiaries in art shows the relationship of man and nature in a peaceful co-existent way.

Continue reading

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