Every morning they walk through the back gate, hand in hand, past the lagoon and over to their stations in the Settlement. Carl plays the ukulele and tells stories. Nalani sits with her latest piece of handiwork, answering questions and being beautiful – the type of beauty that draws you to her side simply to bask in it.
The Mission Statement of the Center begins with the words "The Polynesian Cultural Center is a unique treasure created to share with the world the cultures, diversity and spirit of the nations of Polynesia."
We who work here know where that treasure lies. It is in the hearts of our staff and volunteers. There are so many of our colleagues that radiate this precious spirit. But, for me, no more so than this humble little couple sitting on the front porch of our chapel inviting guests to rest for a moment while they share a story and a song. "Welcome to paradise," they seem to say. "Welcome home."
Could our photographers capture such a moment? It turns out that the answer is yes. Better than I could even imagine.
Within the next week we will place one of those pictures on our merchandise website, Shop! Polynesia. This particular shot focuses on Nalani hand-stitching a quilt. Towards the left you will catch a glimpse of Carl’s ukulele. If you listen carefully, maybe you will hear him singing a sweet Hawaiian love song to his bride. It seems to have captured that perfect moment we are all seeking.
But now I had the opportunity to experience true Ohana inside a sweet little home where love transcends mortal limitations. The miracle of it all filled my heart to overflowing.
She took some time to study the photo, I think, perhaps reliving that perfect moment once more. "Yes," she replied. "You have our permission to use the picture."
........love and marriage under the revealed plan of the Lord are not like the rose that withers with the passing of summer. Rather, they are eternal, as surely as the God of heaven is eternal. Gordon B Hinckley