“With my first day on the Island of Oahu, I ventured out to enjoy a “Welcome to Hawaii” dinner at The Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant, which is located in the Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel across from the Kapiolani Park and the base of Diamond Head. This restaurant had been recommended to me by the Concierge at my hotel, Aqua Lotus, which is just next door. While sitting there enjoying the beautiful view underneath this magnificent Tree, I soon learned from the Locals that the Hau Tree is indigenous to the South Pacific and Asia, and it is a Hibiscus relative. Its flowers bloom for 24 hours, turning from yellow to red, to maroon. I thought that the colors of its blooms were not unlike the fleeting presence of the many rainbows and their colors that we are gifted with seeing while on any of the Hawaiian Islands.
This area was known to the Hawaiians as Kapua or the flower. There is a fresh water spring running underneath the hotel, which marks the Kapua Channel. As the story goes, Kaolahaka, a chief from The Big Island was sacrificed in this spot for having spied upon King Kamehameha. Kamehameha’s Wife, Ka’ahumanu, liked to surf in this area because her Lover was sacrificed in the Diamond Head Heiau (area of sacrifice). This beachfront is known as Sans Souci Beach (French for carefree). Sans Souci is named for the palace of Fredrick the Great in Potsdam, Germany, and The Sans Souci Hotel was built on this same spot in 1884. The plot to reinstate Queen Liliuokalani to the Hawaiian throne was also planned under this Tree. In 1902, after a twelve day voyage from San Francisco, the Steamship Silverton, laid the first Trans Pacific Telegraph Cable here, and the first telegraphic message was sent to the Island by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. The Scottish Writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, was a frequent guest of the hotel and wrote some of his sea novels while sitting under this Hau Tree. In 1893, he wrote, “If anyone desires such old fashioned things as lovely scenery, quiet, pure air, clear seawater, good food, and heavenly sunsets hung out before his eyes over the Pacific and the distant hills of Wai’anae, I recommend him cordially to The Sans Souci.
A Tree is a universal symbol of the interconnectedness of all Life on Earth. As you open to the beginning pages of this journey, I share why I have named this book Aloha No Ka Oui. This beautiful Hau Tree who graces the cover of my book, provided the first seed of thought planted within me for my birthing of this title. As I sat beneath her, I felt immediately connected with her because of her Heart shaped leaves. Because of this Tree, I felt like one leaf surrounded by many. I was not alone. I was allOne.”
Source of my learning…a photo copy of “A Brief History Under The Tree” given to me by the host of Hau Tree Lanai