I just washed my hair outside under a full moon in a warm shower by a stone wall. Can you tell my ten year old student and I have been studying prepositions? Prepositions and Julie of the Wolves--I love Julie of the Wolves.
I am about to leave. Conversations begin with "Have you got a ticket?" and I am eating more pineapple. There are things I will miss about Hawaii. Funny how things become instantly more valuable when they are about to disappear. The way I usually fall madly in love with a book as soon as I leave it on a plane. It is not that I did not appreciate outdoor showers and pikake and big bright full moons in deep black skies before. I did. But as I start to leave these things become numbered, last, few, and important. The ocean always looks bluest at that particular, last bend in the road when you are driving to the airport.
I have always loved it here. I have loved the unbroken family thread leading back to my childhood that is part of my every day in this place. My brother flying off a rope swing into the Kalihiwai River, doing math in the sand with my dad at Pine Trees at sunset, my sister jumping off a cliff on a dare, riding bikes at night and looking for wood for a bonfire on the beach. These things are current here. People remember them. All the ladies at Foodland ask when is my mother coming back and why aren't I buying more vegetables?
It was fun. We moved in family packs. Brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, we roamed from beach to house to beach to house in a sprawling, hungry, muddy, salty gang. Smaller siblings got to ride on the handlebars. It took eight friends to teach me to drive. There is a rainbow on my license. "Just us" meant my brother and sister and I. "Everybody" meant twenty kids. We spoke in plurals. Parents were Aunties and Uncles. Now we are Aunties and Uncles. I love it.
It will all be here for me when I get back. I will fall in love with wherever I go. I will love red buses and bookstores and hot chocolate and woolly mittens. But for right now, I will miss it here.