Waihe'e in Moonlight

Waihe’e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge by Moonlight

Waihe'e in Moonlight
Waihe’e in Moonlight

A full moon at Waihe’e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge is magical. Maybe it’s because the spirit world becomes seamless with the temporal world. Maybe it is always special because of everything that has happened there. Or maybe it’s just me and the times I’ve been there. The moonlight is bright, so everything seems more alive, more real.  Scott Fisher of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is an extraordinary storyteller. On a recent visit there with my family he told “chicken skin” stories about the spirits that are attached to this place. My nephew really felt the stories.

I’ve been to this place a few times, once as a volunteer with Scott when he was doing a walk with ecology students from the University of Hawaii, once for a Kupu dinner and again for this Full Moon Hike.

The early Hawaiians believed that during a full moon the membrane between the spirit world and ours was thinned or more permeable. Movement from world to world was easier, so spirits could pass into our world.  Night marchers with lights in the distance were seen more frequently on nights with a full moon.  This site has many Heiau,  sacred sites or places for worship. The Ali’i or royalty lived here and the people produced food in managed fish ponds and kalo or taro fields.  This place was full of life and apparently is still full of spirits.

I have spent a lot of my life protecting places like this on the mainland with nonprofits and local governments. Our hike in Waihe’e refuge reminds me why.

I am grateful for organizations like the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust for protecting lands like this so that we can get out in nature, get close to historic and sacred sites to feel that connection that sustains us. The connections that fill our hearts.

12 thoughts on “Waihe’e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge by Moonlight

  1. What a nice write-up Eli. I’ve been there many times but have yet to experience the moonlight walk. Thanks for summarizing the experience so well 🙂

  2. What a great piece. Thanks for bringing me with you to your magical evening. Hawaii Island Land Trust is a gift and it’s great you’re reminding us all about what a gift they are…Once places like this are lost to civilization, we never get them back.

  3. We love being outside during a beautiful full moon. No matter where you are on the island is spectacular. Done many full moon hikes and no matter how many times you have been out on that trail or seen that view it’s so different under the moon. Having places like this and awesome storytellers to guide us through the experience is what makes Hawaii so special. Mahalo HILT!

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience and this area with us. I’ve spoken to numerous elderly Maui locals that have some pretty intense stories about night marchers and other legendary events. It’s pretty exciting to be in places that have so much history and lore.

Leave a Reply