Spin The Kava!

Posted by on Feb 18, 2009 in The Mind of Makaira | 0 comments

Spin The KavaAloha!

I hope that everyone out there had a happy Valentine’s Day. Forgive the belated nature of my well wishes to you. I’ve been so busy traveling and also with the farm, I am surprised that I have any time to write, much less a social life.

Over the years, I never celebrated Valentine’s Day in the traditional, romantic way as most people do; it is my mother’s birthday. That’s why the day has always been significant and special to me.

However, this year’s Valentine’s Day was indeed a very memorable occasion for other reasons. All of my single friends got together for a kava ceremony and special dinner. It was not what one would call a traditional kava ceremony by any means, but I have to say, it was one of the most fun ceremonies I’ve ever attended!

The romantic power of food has been celebrated for centuries. Casanova was said to share oysters with his paramours to whet their sexual appetites. Greek and Roman cultures enjoyed a parade of ripe fruits and exotic dishes before engaging in sensual pleasures. It has even been said that a delicious meal is the quickest way to a man (or woman’s) heart. I cannot disagree with that!

We had a glorious feast of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian fare: a lovely pupu platter, Huli Huli Chicken and a wonderful spread of fresh seafood such as ahi tuna and mahi mahi, along with some tasty three-finger poi. YUM!

After dinner, we all sat around on mats in a circle, just like a traditional  kava ceremony. However, as one of our hosts, Mikalo, brewed the traditional kava drink, our other host, Josephine (we call her Josie), placed a large kava root that appeared to have been sanded down so that its bark was smooth, in the center of the circle. We all looked at each other curiously, not knowing what to make of all this.

After Mikalo made the first batch of his heady kava brew, he came to sit at the head of the circle. He passed the kava bowl around the circle once, and everyone had a drink. He then announced that we would be playing a special game in honor of Valentine’s Day: “Spin The Kava Root” – a variation on Spin the Bottle.

By this time, everyone had relaxed, since we all had satisfied stomachs and some kava in our systems. Josie, who was in charge of the special kava root in the circle’s center, scuttled out to spin it in order to pick the first player. It landed on me, of course. With a mischievous gleam in her eye, came to me and took my hand, leading me out into the middle of the circle.

I had not played this game since I was a teenager – I became flushed with a rush of excitement and adrenaline! Josie showed me how to grasp the root from the center and spin it so that it rotated properly. I took hold of it as she instructed and spun it around. When it stopped, it pointed to my friend Juan, so I quickly ran over to him, gave a fast peck and retreated to my seat in the circle. It was now Juan’s turn.

This continued around the circle until everyone had their turn and were giggling like school kids. As we all settled down, Mikalo came out with another bowl of kava and we passed this around until everyone had their turn.

A few of our friends who are fire dancers then came out and performed with flaming poi as a surprise end to this wonderful evening. What a perfect close to a beautiful night!

Until next time!

Aloha no,

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