Spring is a beautiful time to recognize the cycles of life and nature, and especially to welcome a season of new life. While Maui does not have a mainland-style winter season, Spring does arrive in unique ways. Creating an altar with your keiki is a fun way to invite the season into your home, and can be a delightful way to open conversations about the cycles of nature.
The word altar may conjure up religious connotations, but altars can be created for any occasion, no affiliation required. Spring in Maui arrives as the Jacaranda trees fill upcountry with violet blooms, the sweet scent of gardenia begin to tantalize those who notice, and whales can be spotted off the north shore, making their way back to their summer home in the waters off Alaska.
- Decide on a space in your home where you’d like to create a Spring altar. You may have a shelf that sits in the morning light, a table that you pass by each morning, or a box that you bring out at a certain time during the day.
- Lay a foundation. A colorful piece of material, ti leaf, or a fern can make a beautiful foundation for your altar. Be thoughtful of the kind of pattern and colors you choose.
- Spend time in nature thoughtfully choosing what will be placed on your altar. You may come across a bird’s nest that has been abandoned and fallen to the ground, or you may have a branch that is bursting with new growth that you could trim to include on the altar. At the beach, look for shells that have been carried up and left on the shore, (make sure the sea creature is no longer inhabiting the shell!)
- Wander your neighborhood and pick flowers that are blooming to string a lei to drape across your space. These blooms will be a reminder of where you live and the beauty that surrounds you.
- Look around your home for special items to add. You may have small candles, crystals, shells, or other treasures that evoke the feeling of spring, a reminder of new life. A candle is a sweet addition, adding reverence to the moments you spend tending to your altar.
- Let your spring altar be a topic of conversation in your house. Talk about friends who have a new baby, or a new puppy. Visit baby ducks at the farmer’s market or a friend’s house. Notice what flowers are blooming where you live and around the island. Welcome new additions to your altar throughout the season as your ‘ohana becomes more aware of the sweetness of this season.