Note: All photos taken by Kate Poss unless otherwise noted.

We spent April 28-May 5 on Maui, where ohana or family are a strong pull. My muttie–German for mommy–Helen, lived there from 1996 until her passing in 2012. It was my mom and dad’s purchase of a timeshare in Kihei at Maui Hill in the 1980’s that began our love affair with Maui. This year, we stayed at a lovely condo at Maui Kamaole, the same complex my mom lived in. We felt her love and presence all around us while we were there.

‘Muttie’ my mom, Helen, in one of her mumus worn for singing in the choir at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Kihei. Photo taken in Aug. 2011

While visiting Maui in late April, we also basked in the island’s āina. Connection to the land, or ʻāina spirit, is essential to the well-being of Native Hawaiians. The feeling is harder to access during the heavily touristed months of December through March, when hoards of visitors descend to escape their winters. Our body and soul were nourished and replenished by the water, fish, turtles, flowers, birds, mountains, trees and people of the islands. My mom, a Pisces, loved Maui so much, she had to move there after my Aquarian dad Ray passed in 1991. My parents made many happy visits to Maui during the 1980’s.

My parents, Helen and Ray Burbey at an Hawaiian show in the 1980s

Rather than writing many words this week, it’s the photos, which, I hope, give you a sense of the mana spirit we experienced while visiting Maui. Ask us about the night lights in the sky we saw with my sister Heidi, giving us an incredible sense of peace and connectedness.

Family–ohana–family is no ka oi

My niece Kali and her boyfriend Dallas, with his family dog Roo at his mom’s home in Lahaina
Bill, Kate, Kali, and her mom, and my sister Heidi, and Roo’s tail at Chrissie’s Lahaina home. Kali’s boyfriend Dallas took the photo
Chrissie, Dallas’s mom, rescued this young Java Finch, when it was a baby with barely any feathers. A few weeks later, it has adopted Chrissie as its mom and wants her to feed it. Their bond is remarkable.
My niece Amara, and her dad Malcolm. Malcolm fixed us a delicious healthy dinner and we enjoyed a great visit at his home
I baked an apple banana bread for my niece Amara’s 17th birthday. Apple bananas grown on Maui are short and sweeter than imported bananas.
My niece Amara, nearly 17, once painted this evening sky and Maui ocean scene. The painting hangs in her home she shares with her dad Malcolm
Bill and Schefflera octopus tree, introduced in Hawaii in the early 1900s. Invasive from Australia. The giant tree is a part of the landscape at the Keawala’i Congregational Church
While visiting the Keawala’i Congregational Church in Wailea, Bill found a pair of sensuously scented plumeria flowers
Usually seeking shade, we stood under the Maui sun for this shadow photo.


How orchids grow in their element in Hawaii. Photo taken in Malcolm’s yard
Heliconia rostrata, the hanging lobster claw or false bird of paradise at Malcolm’s
Spider hibiscus, aka Hibiscus schizopetalus on Makena Road
Hand-sized hibiscus near Keawala’i Church, Wailea
Hand-sized hibiscus, part of the mallow family. Seen growing on Makena Road
Plumeria, also known as frangipani, seen growing along Makena Road
Plumeria blossoms on grave at Keawala’i Congregational Church, Makena Road

Birds, a spider and reptiles

Friendly Zebra Dove walked by my beach chair at Kamaole 3 Beach one afternoon
A Yellow-billed cardinal, is used to visitors at Kamaole 3 Park
Wild hens, roosters, and chicks abound in Maui and on the Big Island. This hen visited while we sat in the shade one afternoon at Kamaole 3 Beach
Argiope appensa, also referred to as the Hawaiian garden spider or banana spider
Green sea turtles rest near Kamaole 3 Beach. We swam with them while staying in Maui. They are lovely to see in the water with sunbeams shining on them
One of a family of gold dust day geckos living at Malcolm’s home. They’re his daughter Kali’s pets


Sunset view from our deck at Maui Kamaole
Bill at sunset. Kihei Surfside Resort in background. This resort is minutes from where we stayed at Maui Kamaole, and has terrific beach and sunset vistas.
Sunset at Kihei Surfside Resort


See the rainbow beach chair? It is one of many models of Tommy Bahama’s designs that nearly every beachgoer uses. Rather than fight with the chair to fold it up, we learned that you step on the back bottom rung, while pulling up on the top bar along the chair back, then reach down to fold the chair up.
We swam at Makena Landing, where ships once left filled with live cattle and bound for the mainland, where the cattle were used for meat for Civil War soldiers.
Nala the sweet dog lies outside the Mediterranean Grill Haiku. Bearing a ‘Best of Maui’ sticker, we can see why. The food is good here
A simple Maui plantation style home in upcountry, located on the slopes of Haleakala
Keawala’i Congregational Church on Makena Road in Makena, was founded in 1832. The church has made a commitment to maintain Hawaiian tradition and culture.
Stained glass at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Paia. We ate a picnic lunch at its gazebo before leaving for a flight from Maui soon afterwards. The church is more than 40 years old. Its stained glass art was designed by a Belgian artist

Remembering those who were lost in the Lahaina fire of August 2023

Some of the 100 crosses erected for the August 2023 Lahaina fire victims adorned with leis and flags and photos at the intersection of Lahainaluna Road and the bypass highway. The memorial was created in November 2023


Seen wrapped around a truck’s antenna at Makena Landing beach

Home again

Thanks to our friend Mary Brennan and her daughter Tiana, for their love and care of our 16-year-old cat, Ollie, while we were in Hawaii.
Rainbow seen from our deck a day after our return from Maui on May 6



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    • Kate Poss | With Photos by David Welton on

      It’s fun to have glimpses of the amazing grace. Thanks, Claudia.

  1. Hi Kate,

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful and heartfelt story about your recent stay in Maui. It’s wonderful to hear how deeply connected you feel to the island through your family history and the memory of your beloved mother, Helen.

    Your photos and words truly capture the mana (spiritual power) and aloha spirit of Maui. I can sense the love, peace, and nourishment you experienced being surrounded by the island’s natural beauty and feeling your mom’s presence. What a special gift to be able to stay in the same complex she lived in and feel that continued connection.

    It means so much to us that staying in our condo at Maui Kamaole could play a small part in your meaningful and restorative Maui experience this year. Helping provide a comfortable home base for guests to relax and take in the magic of the island is exactly what we strive for.

    A special mahalo for your kindness in hyperlinking our condo in your story. We’re so grateful for your thoughtful gesture to recommend us to your readers. Thank you for generously sharing your personal experiences and memories with us.

    We look forward to welcoming you back “home” to Maui and our condo next time you need to replenish your spirit! Until then, may the mana of your trip continue to buoy and inspire you.

    Mahalo nui loa,


    • Kate Poss | With Photos by David Welton on

      Kind words, Fiona. Glad the mana still flows at your Maui home in the palm trees and mountains.

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