Every age has its stories of heroic men and women whose faith challenges them to reach out, step beyond their comfort zone and gift the world with inspiration through acts of unconditional love and selfless service. Someone whose light shines so bright it can not be extinguished. I often find that when I may be feeling anxious or troubled, frustrated or overwhelmed, I have an experience that puts my life in perspective and assists me in connecting to my heart with gratitude for my journey. I find myself standing in awe at the story of one of these individuals that recently had a profound affect on me.
This is the story of one such hero. He was born Joseph De Veuster, a Belgian farm boy. He is known to the world as Damien the Leper. Damien’s compassion for the lepers led him to spend sixteen years in the “living graveyard that was Molokai.” Damien never lost sight of his life’s purpose, despite the many difficulties and challenges he bore. It was his faith that enabled him to endure the trials that his life’s work caused him. Knowing the risks, he would dedicate himself to alleviating the suffering of others.
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, as part of the Hawaiian islands sits a remote island known as Molokai. The unique landscape of this island is shaped much like a fish. The dorsal fin is the nearly flat, ten-square-mile (25.9 sq km) Makanalua Peninsula which juts into the Pacific below the world’s highest sea cliffs. A place of stunning beauty, it’s been blessed by nature’s grandeur, and cursed by humanity’s ignorance and fear. I knew that this had once been a leprosy colony. Hansen’s disease, the proper term for leprosy, is believed to have spread to Hawaii from China. The first documented case of leprosy occurred in 1848. Its rapid spread, fear associated with the disease. and no known cure precipitated the urgent need for complete and total isolation. Those who became infected were abandoned by society and sentenced to a life of certain death being exiled to Molokai.
I have often sat on the beach in Maui gazing across the ocean at this island wondering what was there. A mysterious and haunting feeling would come over me every time.
Not really knowing why, I now found myself on a boat that would take me to Molokai. It required me getting up at o’dark thirty to catch the ferry as I had a sense of excitement in my heart. I always follow the guidance of spirit and the chance encounters that connect me with the most amazing people as we weave the web together. My good friend from New Zealand, Michael was on Maui, and it would be his suggestion that I join him to travel to this mysterious island that was my catalyst.
Since arriving in Maui, I had been focusing each morning on continuing to pray to heal the Pacific Ocean. I am grateful for the thousands around the world who joined with me on the recent New Moon, Solar Eclipse to send love to our beautiful ocean that is being impacted with the radiation fallout from Fukishima. I spent a good portion of the ride crossing the channel from Maui to this mysterious island, sending love to the precious waters of the earth mother.
When we landed and I stepped foot on Molokai I had a heavy feeling in my heart. A suppressed feeling that would grow throughout the day. Although the landscape is impressive and the fact that modern civilization has not taken over, there seems to be a battle as those who are guardians of this sacred island still fight to keep commercialism and greed from impacting their home. What I really felt was the polarity of the land that held the imprint of the souls that had been sentenced here with an intense feeling of separation from a world that abandoned them in their darkest hour in contrast to the unconditional love and dedication to service from this one man. In early 1866, the first leprosy victims were shipped to Molokai and existed for 7 years before Father Damien arrived. The area was void of all amenities. No buildings, shelters nor potable water were available. These first arrivals dwelled in rock enclosures, caves, and in the most rudimentary shacks, built of sticks and dried leaves. To be sentenced to this island meant you would never see your loved ones again and would never be allowed to leave.
In 1873, Father Damien deVeuster, aged 33, arrived on Molokai. This simple man, filled with compassion and incredible strength did more than simply administer the faith: he built homes, churches and coffins; arranged for medical services and funding from Honolulu, and became a parent to his diseased wards. Father Damien eventually contracted the disease, and after 16 years of selfless service, died in 1889. I thought about my challenges and struggles and they certainly paled in comparison to those this man had faced. I am sure he had his moments where he questioned his ability to go on, questioned why he was faced with such unsurmountable challenges. At times I’m sure this amazing soul, felt life had dealt him an unfair hand. No matter what, he never gave up. As I stepped into his humble church, I could feel his presence. I asked that I too would find the strength to never lose my faith, to be a humble servant in anyway that spirit could utilize me as a messenger of love and vessel of light.
Later that day Michael and I made our way to the lookout point where one can look down upon the village and compound. There was a mysterious mist that completely clouded the view so I knew I was not there for that purpose. Instead I turned around and entered an incredible forest. The trees stood in a sentry position and the moment I sent love to these Standing Tall Ones, it was as if the entire forest lit up in light. The gentle rain left thousands of diamond drops on the branches and the heaviness I had carried all day in my heart began to lift. There was something here in this forest I needed to find.
As we turned around there was my sign. An incredible spider’s web with a magnificent grandmother spider. My sign that the web was being woven with love. This was why we had come.
We would walk the other path to what is known as Phallic Rock, a very sacred sanctuary for the Hawaiians. There was no one there. As I stood before this magnificent stone being I honored those who had walked in this sacred place before. Michael sang an ancient prayer to honor the ancestors. I had not been prepared for what I would experience and since I did not have an offering I left some of my hair. I placed my third eye on the stone being and nearly fell to the ground. I was standing in a stargate.
The Hawaiians say this is a holy place where women will come who are seeking to have a child. After being with the stone they will find themselves pregnant. That was not my intention this day, but it was my intention to fertilize the seed that I carried in my heart. The explosion of energy that came that day from the stone blew open my third eye. I was gifted with vision for the next part of my journey. I could feel a vibration move into my heart center, down my spine, and into my solar plexus. I was not sure what was happening as I prayed to be a messenger and weave the web of unity but I knew something inside was changing. The winds began to move through the sacred sanctuary and I could hear the ancestors speak of change. Because this island has been left in its original state I felt the magick of life being born inside of me. A new dream, the seed was being activated with star light.
It is my intention to return to this magickal place once again. I knew it had been the stone calling me and the spirit of Father Damien. I had been blessed this day with many things. Awareness of the incredible strength and unshakable faith we as humans do have, when we act from our heart in service, as demonstrated in the way Father Damien had lived his life. The second gift was the knowledge that we can each receive wonderful blessings, when we approach a sacred place with love honoring the earth religion.
I share this story with you because many of you continue to move through challenges, others have surrendered and are truly letting go of the past beginning to experience wonderful new beginnings. Each day we move closer to our destiny, some days are easier than others. It will take each of us committed to the process with a desire to be of service to birth the new dream. Anything can be your Molokai. Look deep in your heart, with this next full moon ocurring on the 17th. Feel the blessings and power being gifted by the Goddess and recommit to do the best you can to walk a path of beauty and service. Don’t make an excuse, don’t hesitate because you feel you can’t. Ask for courage and just step forward. We need you. We need each other.
Love, whale songs and rainbows, Robbyne
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