(Here is a long pushed off update. There is so much to say I am almost scared to begin. But I might as well just start writing and see where I go. Excuse the mess, as I try to paste my thoughts together and explain to you about a summer that changed my life.)
I am sitting at my koa wood desk looking out onto the wild frontier. A slight breeze runs through the house, making the constant humidity just bearable. A banana tree blocks my view of the yard, but I know in front of me lie a plethora of fantasical shubberies – almost Dr. Suessian plants and animals that only a masterful creator could of contrived. I am on a british colony in the middle of africa.
What? You don’t want to play imaginary games?
Okay. Actually I’m in Hilo, Hawaii. It is Hawaii for real people. No sparkly beaches and million dollar resorts here – gotta go to the other side of the island for that. Here dogs run loose along gravel roads and people are just about two times friendlier. Here the perpetual forecast is sunny with a chance of drizzle. Here people eat spam and mochi and smile. I am seeing Hawaiian life, the real kind.
It has been quite an amazing experience. And yet I can’t say Hawaii has been all that my sunny beach and sipping from coconut dreams expected. On the one hand we have been to some extraordinary beaches, and I did sip coconut water straight from the coconut with a straw ( Thanks to my aunt. She is cool – more on that later). I have realized that although it is different, although it is unique, and although it is beautiful – it is not my idea of paradise.
Here people have come from all over the world to escape their past problems, decisions, and mistakes. It is a very culturally diverse place – which makes it fun ( and delicious). There is unbelievable foliage growing everywhere and impressive volcanoes to explore just a few miles away. And yet I have a confession, one I never thought I would ever have to make. A secret that only my little blog audience can know:
I miss home.
I never ever thought I would say this. Me – the girl who has longed to get out all her life. I miss the familiar trees. I miss the sweet transition between seasons. I miss the vicious summer storms and awful heat that helps you appreciate those days that are perfect. Most of all I miss the people – I think about them all the time and yet a six hour time difference has me feeling rather isolated.
Sometimes I go to the Lord and complain – then kind of laugh at myself. You are having a temper tantrum because your mad about being stuck in Hawaii? Yeah – I’m pathetic. While I am here I want to appreciate everything. I want to see what there is to see, learn what there is to learn, and explore environments I will (probably and hopefully) never be exposed to again in my entire life. This is a surreal place, and I am thankful for this oppurtunity. Wherever we are we learn to make the best of it – and believe me taking a hike across a former lava lake is a lot more fun than staying back to revel in misery. I am having a good time – still…
Hawaii is nice, but home is home.
( and the good thing is that I have finally crossed off one of my too-many future vacation/honeymoon/college education spots. Proud of me?)