In Makakilo Hawai’i during the month of July 2014, a journey began. After meeting Iwalani one night in my home with friends, I was instantly drawn to her smile and passion for life, which are both apparent and present. While getting to know each other, a friendship began to grow and “blossom within”. Thirty days later we were in full force with the plans to create a gathering place in ‘Iwalani’s Healing Garden (Pu’uhonua O Honouliuli).
Using an old storage shed, we began to breathe life into the space. Our hope is to create a place for those who have been touched by cancer where they can share their stories as we share ours. Inspired by ‘Iwalani’s vision for a gathering place I quickly went to work in order to bring this vision to life by creating a lani painting of a koi pond and titled it “Gathering Of The Koi”.
During the first week while working in the garden I fell off a 6 foot ladder, holding a reciprocal saw, and my face kissed the ground that we walk on. I must say it hurt, but most of all it got me focused on taking baby steps in moving forward. I started fundraising through my website RONNIEDEANART.COM, in order to raise donations and supplies, we would need to complete this amazing project. Each person that gave something or shared their time for the project would have their family name hand-painted into the “Gathering Of The Koi” painting; therein becoming a part of the healing garden and the Iwalani Foundation along with all they both offer to our community.
I have often heard ‘Iwalani say “change your attitude with gratitude”, a statement that has changed how I think. It is a reminder to me to always come from a place of love and compassion for others. I had many new experiences on this journey, most of them occurring in the healing garden itself.
Some of my WOW moments; sitting in the middle of my painting with no one around, this handsome rooster appears and is heading right for me.
Oh My, should I run for my life or don’t make a move, are the two thoughts that came to mind. I decided not to make a move and in my amazement, the rooster sat down in front of me and watched me paint. If the brush went to the left so did the rooster’s eyes. It was my first art lesson for a rooster, what fun! His name is ‘Macock’ and I thank him for the experience he gave me. ‘Macock’ is the “Guardian of the Healing Garden” and as I found out later, is one of Iwalani’s loves of her life and personal pet. Another amazing moment took place when ‘Iwalani invited 250 students from Oahu’s leeward side to study outdoors in her healing garden. Kamehameha school teachers came together in order to sponsor this event. It started out very early in the morning and the energy was flowing throughout the garden with ease. I often listen to music when I work, but on this day I turned my music off in order to listen to the energy surrounding me. To my amazement, an orchestra began to play a song just for me. Sounds of nature, with a mix of laughter, Hawaiian chant, and ukulele, all floating through the air, were a reminder that it pays to stop for a moment and take in all that surrounds you. It is an amazing gift I have received. Mahalo nui loa ‘Iwalani for sharing your healing garden with me; I am grateful.
We have made amazing progress in 6 months as this journey continues. My painting of “Gathering Of The Koi” has been completed and the family names have been included in the painting.
As we continue seeking donations for this project, we ask for your help in order to complete this vision by January 17th, 2015. On this date, we will have a Hawaiian blessing and dedication over the painting and the space. It will be a time to gather and search for your family names in the healing garden.
I have been invited by ‘Iwalani to host my 2015 collection of art called, “THE HAWAIIAN ISLAND SERIES UNDER THE SEA” at Pu’uhonua O Honouliuli Healing Garden. This collection of art was inspired by ‘Iwalani and her vision for a gathering place in her healing garden. “Under The Sea” is a collection of art, where things gather and come together under the sea. It is both modern and contemporary art with a kaleidoscope twist.
Mahalo nui loa for your inspiration ‘Iwalani, and please accept my gift to you and your amazing healing garden as a token of my gratitude for all you give and for all that you stand for.
As a visionary for our future and for a better quality of life, I myself as an artist, am inspired to share with the rest of the world and the people of Hawai’i what I now call my home and ohana, Hawai’i nō ka ‘oi. Kindness does change the world we live in.
Mahalo nui loa for doing your part in changing the world.
Owau no me ka ha’aha’a,
Posted in https://ronniedeanart.com/2015/04/02/ronnie-deans-amazing-journey-with-the-iwalani-foundation-for-breast-cancer-awareness/