“Wherever I am at any given moment, there is comfort in the knowledge stored at the back of my mind that somewhere in Oceania is a piece of earth to which I belong. In the turbulence of my life, it is my anchor. No one can take it away from me.” – Epeli Hauʻofa
The piece of earth to which I belong was actually named for a star, a red star: Hōkūʻula. It’s a hill adorned by rainbows, one that dances in the uakoko rain, a rain heavy enough to wash the hillside, turning the water a reddish-brown: Waimea.
But I write this sitting on the head of a great fish, in a land of long, white clouds, thousands of miles away from my piece of earth, one washed in red waters.
To say that I belong there is an understatement. Hōkūʻula is my place to stand. I belong in it as much as it belongs in me. And like the rain that washes over it, creating rivulets and streams, it’s carved its way into me: red runs in, over, and through my body. I need only think of my hillside to know that I am at once connected to the land, to my piece of earth, and to that fixed point in the night sky, burning in the wider universe.
That, to me, is belonging. And nothing and no one can take that away from me.
 This quote is from Epeli Hauʻofa’s essay, “Pasts to Remember,” featured in the book, We Are The Ocean: Selected Works, p. 76-77.