In 2013, I wrote a few paragraphs entitled “As Dusk Shades Appear”:It is the beginning of the evening. Some cooing and chirps call for feathered tweeters to settle on branches and are slowly more sparsely heard from afar; nearby, some flutters ruffle the monkey pod tree leaves good night. The palms barely sway to wave the breeze gone by.Upcountry the island is quiet and tonight I feel the ache of an imminent goodbye. Gazing down the mountain, I whisper: farewell Aloha State.
‘Ke Akua Hoomaikai Oe’… God bless you. A hui ho… see you later.
In 1992, we were the “haoles, ” a name given to the whites. Ironically, it was actually a name meant to describe the whites that had landed on the islands for their actions, for being in a hurry. Certainly after twenty years, the lull of the sway in every task is second nature. Let me wave the “shaka” sign meant to say “hang loose” though the mere thought tightens my throat to a noose. Let me hum instead a melody of I promise you “Love and Honesty,” and as I say good bye, let me meet with friends and let us sing again “Let’s Talk Story.”…. To even think of saying “A hui ho” hurts because see you later may be much, much later than tomorrow. From “mauka” the mountain side to “kai” the ocean side, love is a present present.
In grateful step with the lace capped waves, the keepsake of memories will linger like the senses awakened in the salt perfumed air. With a feast of its daily blue, Makena beach buffs a turquoise buffet of colors majestically present as a God given portrait… Now that I have become one in the allure of the shore, how can I be elsewhere forever more? Listen to the colors of each word. I cannot step away anymore than cousin Nick at that hour in that day for a stroll that here it stays.
The island overflows with love. However, its devilishness slithers because it is after all a place on earth inhabited by us, humans. To weigh the good against the bad upon God’s scale, no doubt lifts us as “better than bad” because to live Aloha is more than a greeting. As I said, Aloha becomes us.
To have missed a day of Maui’s splendor is by choice. No matter what troubles fall upon us, God cuddles us with intricately designed flowers, fruits and herbs. Even the weeds appear too pretty to pluck from the rich soil. When the sun glimmers on these, unnamed hues appear, and heaven is nearer than I thought, I think.
Here days and months feel like reflective moments in time when we come to know much of what we wished to have known from birth.
It seems obvious that living here is a blessing bestowed by our Almighty. Whether born here or not, being a part of this community invites cooperation, and we do like sticky rice in a bowl. Friends,family, and acquaintances are always excited to meet in a store. The reunion is cause for chit chat with laughter. I regard the meetings heart handshakes. I pray all lessons learned can appease us and others.
The ginger in pink emerges from its foliage vase on so many walks…and life unfolds as barefooted we go like kids in school with no hallways, just the outdoors.
How will I say farewell greenery splashed with peach, pink, purple, yellow, red, white, and blue blooms? They are the pearls of leis and I have known their sweet, subtle aroma like from a warm cup of milk and honey.
Like the Mariner “In the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” I will be telling “guests” someday how in Hawaii lives a favored paradise on earth where people like us, imperfect humans, strive like all others all over the world, to survive.
This is the harbor where immigrants from Asia speak English. How can I forget the groups of elderly men sitting around a square table with a pile of pennies at each corner, head down, and playing a game of cards like children in the playground with marbles? How about the milk caps? All of them nodding with or without hats and in unison accents enjoying the game, so grateful to be having some fun together next to Ah Fooks Grocery Store, in the Kahului Mall. There is no question these Hawaiians add an ounce of familiar joy in our lives.
This is where some have come to live while others simply to die, to be that much closer to the splendor here ever after.