Hawaii, a state of mind

Nature is all around us, of course, always–in one form or another… but in Hawaii, it’s in your face.
There is never complete silence and yet, there is no noise.  Instead, there is a matrix of sounds–birds singing to each other and the background buzzing of bugs (I guess), never-ceasing.  It is harmonic and muted by the overall feeling of rightness and Peace.  It slips into the background and takes your worries with it.  And don’t forget the cute chirp of the occasional gecko who more than earns his keep by keeping down the cockroach community–not one creepy crawler have I seen.
At night, tree frogs create a frenzy to rival Joe Cocker. My advice is to not fight it–let the natural noises rock you to sleep. The eerie screech of the Francolin (big bird) can be disconcerting if you don’t know what it is– and don’t forget the ever-zealous cock-a-doodle-damn rooster who doesn’t understand the concept of waiting until dawn.  But all is forgiven when you wake up and remember–“oh yeah, I’m in Hawaii”, and you drift back to sleep until the sun calls you forth.
The air feels soft even when the sun is strong. Because of humidity?  It doesn’t feel sweltering, ever, because of the trade winds–the blessed trades.  Is anyone harnessing that for power?  Surely.

 

 Aloha is a frame of mind and it is fed by our senses.

Have I mentioned the smells?  Even when driving in city traffic, you’ll want your windows down to catch the scent of plumerias in bloom.  And I love how the ocean announces itself with that salty smell, a while before it comes into view.  I didn’t remember that the Macadamia groves have a sweet smell and who can resist the strong aroma of coffee beans, beckoning you to have a cup?

Rarely is it too hot–never as sweltering as Ohio-in-August, for instance.  Air conditioning is unusual here and the breezes gently rock you as you loosen your inner knots, allowing the Spirit of Aloha to sink in, working their magic as surely as the palm tress sway

 

Hawaii, The Big Island

Hawaii is the proper name for the Big Island, the largest in the chain.  It is also the youngest island and is gaining mass as Kilauea spits, spews and flows towards and into the Pacific Ocean.  Four other volcanoes have long ago blown their tops, but only Kohala, erupting about 60,000 years ago is considered extinct.  
While exploring off the beaten path–where tourists rarely tread, we met friendly locals who told us about Uncle Bob’s Night Market.  It’s at the end of the road that leads to a black beach–which is a very good study on how Nature is a work in process.  Lava flows then the air cools it into stone,  subject to time and erosion which further breaks it into smaller chunks and pieces.  It’s hard yet porous, sometimes you see colors–rusty red or copperish green.  The geology of the Big Island rocks (pardon the pun).
I don’t want to make light of how devastating it is to lose your home forever to an erupting volcano.  It’s very humbling to stand where a village once stood.  It seems fitting that Uncle Robert’s family would want to bring aloha back to the Earth in this elemental place where Nature will change again.  Already plants poke their heads between lava rocks–some planted by naturalists but many grow wild, unable to resist growing towards the light.
What started out as family gatherings has grown to provide good local music, dancing, crafts and art, incredible local food, a tiki bar, and friendly people –a throw-back to my hippy upbringing. 
 
You know that SnaZZy is ever on my mind and I found some locally made skirts and jewelry that I didn’t resist.  And that’s just the beginning…  I know the best resale shops on the island and tomorrow we go to Waimea.  (I believe each of the islands has a Waimea, which means reddish water. )
This one is a coyboy town (paniolo), heavily influenced by the Parker Ranch.`

Kauai

 
Blissed and Blessed
 
You may know that I once lived in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu which is best known and the location for its capital, Honolulu.  This trip however begins in Kauai, the northern most and oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, located in the middle of the expansive Pacific Ocean.
It doesnt’ take long to understand why it is called, the garden isle.  It could just as easily be known as the “Red Isle”, named after the amazing color of dirt, due to the presence of iron oxide that was belched from the volcanic events in ancient times.  In fact, the Hawaiian Islands are all the by-products of planet Earth’s inner turmoil, a boiling cauldron ripe for release.