Sacred Iao Valley: The Light of Maui

A description of Iao Valley from “The Tradewinds” by Philip Scott Waikoloa

As he spoke, the morning sun shot warm light into the womb-like Iao Valley to the west; striking an ancient cinder cone known as the “Needle,” a verdant and “mystical” megalith rising from the middle of the valley. The local people believed it reflected light and energy into the world.

And with that, the valley began to grow humid and sultry. The force of the sun encouraged the static air to gravitate skyward, like incense smoke, toward the volcanic, jagged, greenlife covered peaks. The warm, moist body accumulated quietly, first as a fine mist and then, as the morning progressed toward noon, it transformed itself into a great, grey, life-giving mass of water-laden clouds which eventually fell as a gentle rain; completing the necessary cycle offering a watery infusion to the valley, its river, and finally, to the ocean. Each, in turn, breathed the sigh of vital verdure.

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The Tradewinds

Painting by Marilyn Allysum, Iao Valley

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