After my Tutu passed away, we went through her belongings in her home in Kula. I came across a small journal of hers, written in her precise cursive lettering. In it, she had chronicled the coming and going of the plover birds on her front lawn. She noted which ones had returned after a Summer away, and how many new babies there were in each family. 

The natural world offers us endless opportunities to notice the cycles of life. Remembering that we are part of nature and that we all are indeed part of the cycle of change, the cycle of life, and that each of us will go through many cycles in life can help us find perspective when we face challenges. 

There are shorter cycles, such as watching the energy of a wave as it builds towards the shore, then crashes into the sand, washes up the beach, and then pulls away back to the sea. Then there are longer cycles; watching a caterpillar go through the process of becoming a butterfly or planting a seed and watching it grow into a flower.

Noticing these cycles can bring context to other cycles we experience: how our emotions rise within us and settle, learning new things, and even projects we take on.

By bringing this idea of cycles into our daily awareness and our conversations with our keiki, we help to normalize the process of change. Including simple rituals, such as keeping a journal as my Tutu did, allows us to mark the cycles. Within our own lives, it can be helpful to recognize where we are in our own lives. 

Are we in a stage of growth or are we needing to rest to stop the output of energy? 

Are we working through something, like the butterfly in the cocoon?

Bring this idea of cycles into your daily conversation. You might notice what cycle the moon is in, and notice how quickly it appears to be full or returns to just a sliver in the sky. You might recognize that whales have returned to the island and talk together about their migration cycles. 

Consider where you are, and where your keiki and even your ‘ohana as a whole are in this cycle of change. Let yourself be curious and invite the conversation to open up new possibilities.