Story by Diane Haynes Woodburn
“Guess what happened to me today.” It was a moot challenge I had presented my husband, so I answered for him. “I got a call from Fred.” “Wow,” he responded, “that’s big.” We hadn’t heard from Fred in over two years. He was a good friend, but he moved away, and somehow the relationship faded. “Must be the New Year,” my husband mused. “Something about the New Year always makes you long for your old connections.”
It was a small comment—but it sparked a huge truth. We need our past to make the future meaningful. As early as the 1700s, Robert Burns was credited for putting on paper the old Scottish song Auld Lang Syne, and we still sing it today “for times gone by.” At the cusp of the new year, it’s a time-honored tradition to remember the old, and welcome the new.
This is especially true in Hawai‘i. Senator Kalani English, a historian and native Hawaiian, once told me that in Hawaiian culture, an understanding of the past is considered necessary in order to move forward, to welcome the new. Time is literally a continuation of the past. “Time is meaningless without orientation,” he explained. “To find the ancient connections within ourselves is the key to finding the future.” His words rang clearly at the close of this issue, as I read through the many stories that honor the cultural past of Hawai‘i, and bring a renewed sense of pride and welcoming of the future.
These ideas are most poignant in our cover story. Connecting the past to the present is the core intent and passion that brought the paddlers of the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Voyaging Society together. Through their spiritual and physical journey, they hope to bring a renewed awareness and respect for Hawai‘i Nui, and in particular for Na Mokupuni Na kupuna, the Islands of the Ancestors, to a new generation. Their story is told with grace and sensitivity by our outgoing managing editor, Jason Hilford.
We too, at Maui No Ka ‘Oi, stand at the cusp of old and new. As we say aloha to Jason, we welcome Ashley Stepanek as our new managing editor. And at the close of this issue, we also close a decade of publishing, and look forward to the next. A quick calculation tells me we’ve published somewhere in the vicinity of 400 stories over the last 10 years—and yet we have so many more we want to tell.
We’re proud to be a part of the continuum of time and stories of Hawai‘i. For auld lang syne.
Happy New Year
A hui hou,
Diane Haynes Woodburn
Publisher, Maui No Ka ‘Oi