Hawaiian Legend: “A Bowl of Perfect Light”

Ka Po’e Kahiko – The Ancient People – from an oral history of Hawaii predating the invasion of the Tahitians

“Each child born has at birth, a Bowl of Perfect Light.  If he tends his Light, it will grow in strength, and he can do all things — swim with the shark, fly with the birds, know and understand all things.

If, however, he become envious or jealous, he drops a stone into his Bowl of Light and some of the Light goes out.  Light and the stone cannot hold the same space.  If he continues to put stones in the Bowl of Light, the Light will go out, and he will become a stone.  A stone does not grow, nor does it move.

If at anytime he tires of being a stone, all he needs to do is turn the bowl upside down and the stones will fall away, and the Light will grow once more.”

From: Tales of the Night Rainbow, as told by Tutu Kaeli’ohe ne’ekoa of Molokai’i – by Koko Willis and Pali Jae Lee


May your light shine brightly.  Aloha, Renee

Banner photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash


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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

2 responses to “Hawaiian Legend: “A Bowl of Perfect Light””

  1. Rosita says :

    That’s an amazing book!! I’m saving up for buying another one, but once I’m done, I may buy this as well 🙂 also, turns out I didn’t comment earlier ‘cause I got dengue 🥴 I got it 2 weeks ago and became pretty fatigued. 2 days of high fever, 5 days of joint pain and excruciating headache (I literally cried due to headache), but it all started with a pain on the base of my spine, near to the hips, as well as pain behind my eyes, which are said to be one of telltale dengue symptoms. I also got some itchy petechiae, which comes and go, even tho disease went away. How weird, huh? Fatigue is being relieved thro mild exercise as well as resting. Now I can even climb stairs up and down, unlike on the start of symptoms, where I couldn’t do much than drawing and writing, always stuck to a bed or a hammock (I particularly prefer hammocks when I’m sick hehe), as dengue makes one feels tired 😣😴 Now I get why the name dengue, AKA affectation in Spanish, got popular, as it’s a reference to fatigue and stiff movements provoked due to pain (yet the joint pain was undoubtably milder than that caused by chikungunya). I didn’t need to go hospital as it wasn’t hemorrhagic dengue fever (DHF) 🙌🏼 Also, turns out I never got dengue before, just dengue-like symptoms which were caused by other viruses. I feel so grateful I didn’t need to go hospital, as I PANIC intravenous stuff (ironically, I don’t fear vaccines nor intramuscular injections at all). Gratitude makes a huge difference in our lifes, I believe 💖 só, instead of being jealous and envious, let’s be more grateful and positive, as well as supportive of those in need? 🤗 those approaches for life can (and surely will!) make world a better place xx

    With love,

    • reneeriley says :

      Hi Rosita: I’m so sorry you got dengue fever. In Bali, they call it “bone break fever,” because the pain is so bad. It’s good you didn’t have to go to the hospital, and I’m hopeful you are feeling well now. You are right about gratitude being essential to our well being. And having a down turn in our lives can make us see how much in our lives is actually good.

      As for the book, “Tales from the Rainbow,” it is out of print and so copies are very expensive. You can find excerpts of these good stories as I did on the Internet. Wishing you health and happiness. Aloha, Renee

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