Last night, 'Iokepa's daughter gave birth to her second son. We got the phone call from Honolulu at this motel in Oklahoma City. It was a quick and easy birth. The baby is strong and well. But we know that our new grandson is much more than just that.
Ike hanau - birth knowledge - is all that which our new grandson was born knowing. Each one of us is similarly endowed..
Return Voyage sets out to reclaim that which each of us is born knowing, but often abandons (or forgets) in our noisy, demanding world.
We pray that this new baby forgets none it, and we journey now across this huge continent, to awaken that which lies dormant in the rest of us.
That birth knowledge is our divine connection to every nook and cranny of Creation. It is our powerful gift to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel well beyond our limited-five physical senses. It is our ability to know the truth and rightness of each step we take on Earth. It is our ability to live fearlessly with faith, in every breath. It is the full package of our innate gifts.
We are born brimming with talents and abilities that unfortunately are smothered, one by one, in our noisy distracting lives. Return Voyage asks that we reclaim that birthright.
I am reminded. Two weeks ago, we traveled through Arizona - sensual, physically astounding Arizona. We are not primarily tourists. On this Return Voyage we seldom step into a shop; never carry a book determining the sites to be ticked off. But, often, our hosts want us to know their neighborhood - and they generously guide us.
Arizona screams: the Grand Canyon (we were guided, distant from the hotels and gifts shops); Sedona (we skipped the town for the spectacular red cliffs that surround it). The meandering Canyon is, at this moment, beyond my ability to describe with precision. The red pinnacles surrounding Sedona are perhaps even further from my capability with words. Forgive my lapse.
"It could make you feel very small," 'Iokepa said echoing that moment eleven years ago when his Grandmothers returned to him as Spirits, and flipped his life upside down like a pancake - from the pursuit of things, to the pursuit of ideals.
He has often said: "I walked out of that room, and my life felt very small." Most of us of us feel the same when we look into the crevices and curves of the Grand Canyon.
But the Grandmothers pulled 'Iokepa up sharply, when he minimized his place in the scheme of Creation. "You have a voice - a unique voice. Your voice is the calling card to the universe. The entire universe is waiting to hear it." This is no less true for any of us.
Everything is knowable; we need only ask. We need only to get quiet, and listen. It's the key that opens our ike hanau - our birth knowledge. The answers come in many different ways. It is easy - but we have created a world that makes it seem very hard.
I'm reminded this morning of one particular Return Voyage gathering in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was unlike any other Return Voyage event on the road: It was held in a Day Care Center.
Picture it, as I had pictured it when I heard that was the locale: tiny chairs - and yes, toilets. It appeared, in fact, exactly as I had imagined it.
We were so near to those extraordinary feats of Creation - the Grand Canyon, the cliffs of Sedona. And it was there, at that particular gathering in Flagstaff, that we were offered this reminder. Be as a newborn, receive as a child, claim that which is your birthright - that awe and that confidence in your own ability to know. Ike Hanau.