Protecting the Sacred Peace and Simplicity of Beautiful Savaii

"Excuse me but we cannot stir someone’s sacred peace and say we are being peaceful"


I dream of Savaii river rocks and sands sometimes. The trip there is a reminder of the smaller islands at the distance, the waves you count to reach Apolima, the whales and reef sharks in between, the brilliant sunrise and the butterflies to come at you in Salelologa when you arrive.

You arrive as if a long winded traveler touches home for the last time. You arrive as a wounded soldier of modern things, to find, simplicity and nothing else. 

In my rushed days of mundane things in Apia, I often dream of the afu a’au waterfalls. The sun touches your back as you stand there, taking in, her majestic pour. Those waters, seem to be touched by the hands of angels. Small angels, like a little girl climbing the rock walls and jumping into it. Her laughter blends with the sweet sounds of the glistening waters.

Nothing, not even this life stands between you and the afu aau falls. It is as if you were called there by the goddesses of beauty, to dive in. Innocence has never been made so “Oh-god” like  in my mind. I realize, in my dream, that the waterfall is my witness. She watches me folding into her arms longingly. And I am as peaceful as a hibiscus flower in there.

But here we are, a progressive kind of citizen of a hurried kind of life. As of late, we are chaotic. Our islands look at us like our worried grand-mothers would.

The waterfalls and mountains, adore us despite our uncontrolled anxiety. We, the so-called educated kind. If pigs could speak they would smirk and say, “Where are your fancy cars and your legit formal education now?”.

I mean, what use are all these systems, the almighty Westminster, the iconic western models of growth, the glittering modernized civilization, the kings and heads of states, if there is no peace between our eye balls and shoulder blades? 

Seems we should ask the waterfalls what they think of us first, before we stand up to ‘fight for justice’. I mean, the audacity, to think we could be better than the child whose life is spent beckoning from our able hands.  Her bargain for a better life. The appalling pride of protestors. The disappointment. The stirred peace. How do we arrive on a self-raised pedestal to think that social justice is about pestering someone to carry a burning flag that says, “Believe me only to be right!”

If you ask me of protesting these days, we have gone too far if we have insulted the pigs to begin with. 

If justice is ideal then being unjust is what we are reveling in. Excuse me but we cannot stir someone’s sacred peace and say we are being peaceful. It is like saying you love someone so much that you want to hurt them a little.

Why touch the innocence of angels? Why dig up their sleeping graves? Whether we are fancier, brighter, and shine like the back of a new truck, we do not replace angels and their honorary places overnight.

Nothing about our anxiety will change the fact that we have overindulged ourselves in things where we have no right. Only God has that power but like the afu a’au falls of Savaii, God just watches us, and perhaps he tilts his head and sighs. 

As I think of Savaii today, may God bless the fathers of our country on their special Sunday and long weekend. And may he envelop you as much as the afu a’au envelops me too, a humble daughter of our ever peaceful islands.

Lumepa Hald