Whenever I thought of Hawaii, I envisioned miles and miles of manicured lawns and gardens, hundreds of tourists, and cheesy displays of overpriced crap. I had no urge to go across the water to this chain of islands in the middle of BFN. Mom and Dad went to Kauai back in the 80's and enjoyed it, but the prospect of hot days amidst the great white hordes held no allure to me.
Then Alicia and Norma went across. The stories they told of the small town they lived in and the people made me curious. At least they weren't on Oahu, I thought, though I can't imagine their living on Oahu after spending their years in the mountains outside San Diego. Then Alicia asked me to make her Norma socks and it went from no desire to potential adventure.
I was not disappointed.
Words cannot describe my experience. I can see why people fall in love with the place. It isn't paradise, but it does speak to something within you. Something deep and primeval, long forgotten in this world of electronic communication, high speed travel, and plastic environments. It isn't free. You have to work for it. You have to give up something to be able to embrace it. Some people never feel it. Some people sense it but don't know how to access it. Some people feel it and crave it, but are afraid to give up what they know to embrace it. And the ones who take a deep breath and plunge into the water live on the island with the knowledge that what they have is precious and will do their utmost to protect it.
When I sip my coffee or nibble a bit of mango, I will remember that spirit. I will remember hearing Kumu, the teacher of hula, singing her song. I will remember the blue of the ocean, the black of the pahoehoe, the colors of the flowers, and the song of the wind.
I hope my pictures have captured some of the beauty. They'll be up soon.