It may be overcast on Big Island today, but my two 'Apapane are enjoying a beautiful beach day in a secluded sunny cove. They are perched on Naupaka Kahakai, the beach Naupaka flower.
There are many versions told of the Naupaka story in Hawaii. My favorite version goes like this:
Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, can be a good goddess and she can be a jealous, wrathful goddess. She saw two lovers so devoted to each other that it made her curious. She visited the man as a gorgeous, mysterious woman and tried to persuade him with her beauty. All of Pele's advances were lost on this man, which made her furious and she chased him up the mountain, throwing lava as he ran for his life. Horrified by Pele's actions, Pele's sister goddesses turned the man into the mountain Naupaka, Naupaka Kuahiwi. When Pele raced to find the woman whom the man loved so dearly, Pele's sisters found her at the beach and quickly turned her into the beach Naupaka, Naupaka Kahakai. If you look at the Naupaka flower, they appear to be a half of a whole. The mountain flowers grow with petals facing mostly upwards while the beach flowers reach downward. The two lovers were saved from Pele's wrath, and hopefully one day the two will find each other again to make a whole flower:)
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.