One of my favorite things to do on Moloka’i was to spend the afternoon sitting at Kalele Books and Divine Expression in Kaunakakai, talking story with Teri, the owner, and whoever happened to come and go in a particular day. During my last few weeks, I was there often, making the thirty-minute drive into town, one of Lono’s CDs blasting in the car stereo, Hawaiian breezes blowing through my hair, my heart alive and pumping joy, wondering who I would see or meet that day, eager and excited about spending time with folks who were more rapidly than I ever thought possible, growing to be truly important in my life. So much love, friendship, acceptance, understanding, healing, fun and laughter was exchanged, that I came to dread the end of the afternoon when it was time for the store to close, and for me to make the long drive back to the west side. By the time I left the island, they had become, in large part, the community I had long dreamed of having.
I will never, ever forget those afternoons, nor will I ever forget the people I grew close to there. As much as I miss the land, I miss them that much more, and often feel the longing to cruise down the highway, pull up outside, hear the door squeak (or ring?) as I walk in, kiss hellos, pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee, relax, and thoroughly enjoy. And though I will never forget them, or how they impacted me, I assumed (I know, how sad is this…) that once gone, I’d become just one of so many folks that move through, get lost in the crowd, and ultimately are forgotten. Not getting it that I can impact others as strongly as they impact me is unfortunately a long standing issue.
So I was moved to tears this morning to receive an email from a man that I had many wonderful and meaningful conversations with at Kalele, telling me that they are all tuned in, reading “voraciously," and there for me 24/7 should I need them.
It was a beautiful thing to read, to feel all their presences and loving support. Then, as with so much that has to do with Hawaii, the pain arrives along with the pleasure. The sorrow of missing a place—and now its people—that I love so much, that my spirit resonates so with, that has brought me such pleasure, that has welcomed, soothed, and healed me on many separate visits, and that touches me so deeply and inexplicably, it is often felt as a big, open, and very raw wound. The pleasure/pain quotient that has been my Hawaiian experience from the very first visit.
So, big mahalo, Bo, and to all my dear friends on Moloka’i. I miss you sooooo much!! And knowing you are there, just like when you actually were there, when I showed up on your doorstep in need and want, and you welcomed and took me in in the beautiful spirit of aloha, just like all those awesome afternoons last fall, you have, once again, brightened my day immeasurably.
Aloha nui loa