Home to Hawai'i
This is Kailua Bay on the windward side of O'ahu in the Hawaiian Islands. I did most of my growing up here on these powdered white sands.
Leaving Kailua and moving to Maine ten years ago was something I needed to do at the time. And it was a good move.
The universe opened itself up, and Maine took me in, gave me a safe place to heal, an opportunity to stand back and reassess what I wanted, and where I belonged. This summer I finally returned home to Kailua, and I realized that I was home.
I got to spend time with dear friends who have spanned a lifetime. Two of these friends live on the Big Island, Kainoa and his wife, Tita. These are my brother Kainoa's feet.
Kainoa is a Hawaiian man of beauty, intelligence, spirit and quiet humility.
He is the most humble man I know.
These are my girly feet, as we sat on brother's lauhala mat. The three of us together again for one of our many adventures, eating bento in Kona at sunset, listening to some fabulous Hawaiian music as the honu (endangered Hawaiian green sea turtles) foraged among the seaweed a few feet away.
Surprisingly enough, I do have some iconic shots of my favorite places~not all foot shots, but for some reason it seemed fitting to begin journaling my travels with feet at rest. I was home.
I stayed with another dear friend on the Big Island, my hula sister, Melissa, her husband and two beautiful little girls. This is the view from the lanai of their home in O'okala. Her husband built this for her.
Like any land bordered by water, there are many exclusive properties in Hawai'i.
But Melissa and her loving family are more typical of the people of Hawai'i. They work hard, live simply, share what they have, nurture a deep spirituality, and their greatest possession is their steadfast love for one another.
This is the true definition of "paradise".
On their way home from work, Melissa's husband and friend hunted these two wild boar in sugarcane fields close by. In typical Big Island fashion, her husband busily gutted and skinned the two boar in their open carport as Melissa got dinner together inside. This task took less than an hour.
Early the next morning, the meat was cut,
and shared with family and
As I left my heartwarming visit with these dear friends to return back to O'ahu, I had a run-in with TSA
who confiscated a bag of prized Waipi'o poi I had in my one carry-on bag at Kona airport. REALLY???
I didn't realize poi was on the No Fly List. All the ethereal joy I had been feeling temporarily downgraded into complete disbelief.
Apparently the consistency of poi is 'suspect', BUT I could check it in......? Wouldn't that bag of 'suspect' poi still be dangerous?
So, I might as well share this aspect of my flying experiences since TSA's inception. I wear two Hawaiian bracelets, one of which no longer comes off my wrist. This is very common for women in Hawai'i. As a result, the TSA security beeper goes off when the bracelet walks through.
Because I'm female, my crotch and breasts are checked by a woman wearing latex gloves, who upon completion of this search, now scans those gloves under an infrared light, which apparently tests for gunpowder, bomb, or maybe C4, residue.
And when I question any of this, another TSA guard is called over, so I resolutely shut up for fear of appearing on some No Fly List, next to poi.
I question the validity of ANY policy that leaves me feeling violated, and deeply saddened that somehow I am perceived as a threat to my nation's security, simply because I wear a gold bracelet.
So, I did what most writers do when they're incensed by the absurdity of something, during the entire flight back to O'ahu I wrote a song entitled "Auwe, TSA Took My Poi Away Today". (Kona to Honolulu, some huhu.)
Back in Kailua, staying at M&M's beautiful home, I took my early morning walks on Kailua Beach, stopping to pick up coffee at Kalapawai Market. On the way back, I'd pick a single plumeria from a young tree and slip the fragrant pink and yellow blossom behind my right ear. By the time I'd return from my beach walk, Marlene would be up and about, so she and I would do an early morning stretch routine to Joanne Shenandoah's cd "Matriarch". Perfect!
The very best vacation of all.
Labels: Home to Hawai'i