It's Aloha Friday, and I hope you are ready to kick back and relax this weekend!
Aloha, in the Hawaiian language means, love, affection, peace, compassion, hello, goodbye, and more. Saying Aloha is more than saying hello - it also conveys a sense of love and welcome.
There is a lot of talk, in Hawaii, about having the spirit of Aloha. I think that is my favorite part of our time here in Hawaii - seeing and feeling that acceptance and love.
There seems to be a strong sense of family, here. Families are strong and big and close. My friend, Lia, from American Samoa says that there is no word for Uncle or Aunt or Cousin in Samoan because all family is as close and caring as your own parents. Lia has family visiting with her all the time and is often away on the other islands to visit and help out cousins and aunties. She says the aloha spirit can get a little out of control!
That spirit of Aloha makes me think of my own family and my 6 sisters. We are spread all over the US, but when we get together there is an overwhelming feeling of love and acceptance and teaching and learning and family. We should all live here in Hawaii! We could take over this place...
Extreme Aloha sums it all up:
Aloha is a very special word in Hawaii. To use it freely is acceptable, but to use it appropriately means that you know the special feeling behind the word; Aloha. It means that you see the mountains as drive down the freeway and still marvel at them after all these years. It means that you like the feeling of warm sand between your toes, and cool salty water against your legs. It means that you don't mind stopping to pick up a piece of trash as you walk on the beach or sidewalk. It means that you remember to smile at total strangers, just because. Most of all it means you think Hawaii is one of the best places in this world to live, and you're happy to share it with others.
Do you have the Aloha Spirit?
ps - this Sunday I get the chance to try out the "Aloha Brothers and Sisters" to the congregation for the first time. I am a wee bit scared - but I know they'll answer back with a friendly "Aloha" and I'll feel better.