On the Hāmākua Coast on the Big Island of Hawai’i is a sweet community called the Rainbow Bridge Sanctuary, with free roaming dairy cows, two horses, a donkey and wild pigs. I was invited there to paint a mural on their power house.
In January of 2022 I headed to the Big Island of Hawaii to paint a mural on this small building that houses the inverter, charge controller and batteries of the hydroelectric power system for the Rainbow Bridge Sanctuary, an incredible 86 acre property with an ocean view, gulches on each side and several breathtaking waterfalls.
This was an experience like none other. I lived in a tent for 33 days and become a member of a community of residents working together to transform this magical place into an event center and permaculture ecovillage. My friend Aspen Moon had initially invited me to visit in the fall of 2021 and I couldn’t wait to return! His gift was creating a beautiful garden over the past year, and hosting garden work parties each week for the wider community. The garden provided a good portion of the food for community meals that were served 4 nights a week. We sang together before each meal, “Bless this food and the earth that grows it, thank you Mother for sustaining me. Let us cross the river together, teach us to live in harmony.”
I painted about 25 hours each week, enjoyed the music, laughter and sweet friendships. I traveled to nearby communities for kirtan and song circles, and tried to get myself to ecstatic dance at the Hawaiian Sanctuary whenever possible. Shared meals, shared vehicles, and limited access to modern conveniences left me with mixed emotions; grateful for all the little things we normally take for granted, blessed to have been supported, nurtured and cared for by those around me, and essentially desiring a more simple, land-based existence.