by Mona Kahele

barbara helynn's recommendation

Mona Kahele, author of Clouds of Memories, is one of the few, special people that my kumu lomilomi (my mentor) Maka'ala Yates identifies as one of  his teachers.  He lived near her and knew her during his formative years. Mona's gifts and wisdom are woven into the Mana Lomi® lineage and contribute to me being who I am today.  I am fascinated to be a recipient and transmitter of wisdom and aloha that came through Mona Kahele, though I never met her in person.

Clouds of Memories

Mona's story as she tells it in Clouds of Memories to me feels simple, deep and truly good.  I especially love  the passages written in Hawaiian she sprinkles throughout the book.  I read them slowly, and let their essence sink into my being, though I only partially understood the meaning of the words.

Mona tell of her life and times in South Kona on the Big Island from the 1930's through the 1990's.  She was born in  1921 and died in 2006.  Mona shares with us her everyday life as a young girl, and her hopes and dreams as  she grew, matured and grew old.  She includes personal diary entries, place name accounts, legends and fishing terms.  Reading this special book allowed me to see through Mona's heart and eyes, listen through her ears, and walk for a while in her footsteps.

This book is truly a gem!

These few sentences from the forward will give you a feel for the flavor of Clouds of Memories. 

"Speaking English in the household was forbidden, and she [Mona's grandmother] didn't speak English at all.  In a way I was glad that she didn't know how to read or write, otherwise I would have been in trouble.  Every time she saw me writing, she would ask me if I was writing in Hawaiian.  My answer was always "yes," otherwise she would crumple all my work.  I know it was a lie, but to save all my written work I had to do it."

Copyrighted 2012 Barbara Helynn Heard

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