Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My other home

The hardest part about going back to Hawai'i is the what if...what if I never left?  Would my life have been radically different, or might it have been very similar?  It is strange to be in the place I grew up together with my family and to understand that they will never have the connection to that place in the same way I do.  

What I have learned is that they are forming their own special connection to Hawai'i that is similar to what I had with Indiana: it is the place where Grandma and Grandpa are and that makes it special.  Now that I've lived almost the same amount of time in the Pacific Northwest as in Hawai'i, I truly feel that I have two homes.  I think I could never easily leave this rainy place where my dearest friends live and where my kids have roots that go back to their births.  There is a piece of me though that needs the pounding surf and the tradewinds and sunshine Hawai'i offers.  

My heart aches with the sweet memories when I first breathe the tropical air each visit and it is hard to leave again.  Even before we go, I miss my parents and I miss possibilities of time together with them and my family in that wonderful place.  That is why we try to pack in as many minutes together as possible and savor every moment we all have together.  

Here are a few of my favorite snapshots from the time before my brother's wedding this trip.  

A bit of the Pacific Northwest in the Wai'anae mountains...the morning cup of hot coffee.

Ixora: The little flowers we sucked the juice of  as children
Mount Ka'ala at sunrise
A very colonialized place, Hawai'i has never lost her sense of self, even if the flags of two nations (USA and Britain) are represented on every flagpole.  
They are always fighting with the ocean to clear this manmade channel of sand.  
Oh little crab, beware.  My children have noticed you.
The family enjoying a calm, manmade lagoon
Our resident gecko
The shower trees, which rain down these petals, were blooming this time.
Makua cave.  Some people say this is where locals thought mankind first emerged from, others say that this is where the shark god took his victims.  This was formed by the ocean carving out a lava tube when the ocean level was much higher.  We saw coral 30-40 feet above the current sea level in this area.  We braved crossing the busy road with the clan and did some touristy mini spelunking.
Some motorcyclists stop in

near Kaena Point.  Isaac is standing on coral that is far above the current sea level.
Because I guess a burnt out landscape is an awesome background
Brandon and Maia looking at the mountains from the ocean
Family picnic, cousins enjoying some local honeydew
There are similar pictures  of me as a kid at this water fountain
Sunset in Makaha
Diamond head
Visiting the bridal couple at the swap meet
Levi enjoys a coconut with his buddy

Uncle matt is a little crazy
Shoes kind of like my huaraches that I made while on the trip
Hawai'i produce co op!
Chasing the pigeons at Kailua beach park

best beach in the world
sand like baby powder
Daddy daughter
a little blue crab!
teeny shell
my brother, chillin' in the sand fort we made for the kids

trees on H3, prettiest road on O'ahu
old bird of paradise
Mountain goats enjoying a snack
Beach naupaka, my favorite flower because of its story:  the goddess Pele was jealous of two lovers and wanted the man for himself, she drove him into the mountains and her sisters saved him by turning him into mountain naupaka, the mountain version of this plant.  The woman, she drove toward the sea, where her sisters turned the woman into beach naupaka, saving her life.  It is said if the half flowers of beach and mountain naupaka are reunited, the lovers will be together again.
Maia checks out the tide pools at dusk
hermit crab
new huaraches at the beach

opihi.  When these shellfish get bigger, people like to eat them
lava rock by the sea

Makaha beach
tiny hermit crab

The next day: Ixora in the morning light.  Ready to enjoy another day in Hawai'i.