As my friend and I made our way around the town of Hanalei on the island of Kauai, we ventured into an art shop and venue. Aligning the walls were crafts made by locals exhibiting the Polynesian roots that still reside in Hawaii today. I read descriptions and sifted through the artwork when I came across a card with a painting that had been reprinted into numerous copies.
The back of the card told the story of the image. The Polynesian tale was about a man named Nui. He manned a fire day and night to make sure it stayed lit for village use of cooking animals. Nui did his job, but “his vigil became long and lonely.” One night he saw a similar fire in the distance. He was curious so he followed it in his canoe where he met Pepe. Pepe was the daughter of a prophet and also watched the fire for her village. The two became friends and spent much time together. They continued to spent time together, which meant more time away from their fires. The story continues like this, “One night their fires when out. The villagers spotted this catastrophe and came storming to the shores. In great fear, Nui and Pepe fled in their canoe and never stopped. Some say they went to Palekaiko, which is also known as paradise.” I found this artwork and story to be very inspiring. It leads to some of the most important values that we find in relationships today that make them thrive:
- Being best friends
- Having admiration for one another
- Creating a shared meaning in life
- Having collaboration and not letting power turn you against one another
- Having shared values and beliefs
Cultures vary, but the connection between human beings and the active ways that relationships stay vibrant are fairly consistent. In honor of St.Valentine, Romeo and Juliet, Nui and Pepe and all the other people who had to fight boldly for love, may you continue to fight for love in your marriage and to overcome the difficult parts to cultivate the love you deserve.