Monday, January 23, 2012

Hiking Sleeping Giant

Hiking can be so exhilarating, relaxing, strenuous, and fun, all at the same time! We recently went on a hike I had never done before. There was a new discovery at every turn in the path ... incredible panoramas of the island ... stately trees ... deep peaceful breaths. 

The hike: Sleeping Giant, otherwise known as Nounou Mountain.

photo courtesy Wikipedia

The beginning of the trail traverses a Norfolk pine forest. Quiet and cool, the regal trees towered above us.

The trail itself is like other Hawaiian trails: red dirt that gets very slippery in the rain, tree roots forming natural steps.

The Giant's Toenails (leaves from the Koa trees, I believe):

The goal: make it to the top of the cliff alive.

Okay, so it wasn't that scary. Besides, this view is the reward:

Monday, January 16, 2012

We Can Be

We can be cold here, like we want to be. We can climb a rain-battered tree halfway before sliding back to the ground. We can balance on wooden swings and look from the sand to the sea to the sky and not feel lost at all. We can be wet. We can talk about a cozy coffee house three thousand miles away, the one with the fireplace and the window seat, and we feel warm just talking about it. Almost.

We can go anywhere, here. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Descendants in Hawaii

Some of you may remember my pathetic attempt at locating the elusive Johnny Depp a couple of summers ago during the filming of Pirates 4. The temporary residence of movie makers and actors is actually a common occurrence in the islands, and you never know who you could run into. Like Pierce Brosnan bicycling down the street. To be honest though, I think of actors as just normal people. No big deal. But spotting them can be a little fun. Makes for a good story anyway. 

The same summer, George Clooney was here filming "The Descendants," which was just recently released in theaters. And one afternoon, he was in my neighborhood, filming. He was in a Jeep with a dashboard hula girl repeatedly driving around the round-about - clogging traffic, I might add. And as for the evidence:

That was the best photo I could take with my cell phone, but oh well. It's him. I promise.

"The Descendants" was partly filmed at a cottage on Hanalei Bay, and in the evening, sometimes they would light up the street with their huge movie lights, and again, traffic would be clogged. 

And this is the view:

Rather beautiful, don't you think? I haven't seen "The Descendants" film yet, but I feel blessed to live in such a gorgeous atmosphere. It's better than a movie set. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Watching Whales

Sunday afternoon was perfect for whale watching. The sea was winter-calm, deep blue. Any signs of white against the blue were almost definitely the flurry of a whale. We sat at a distance from the main beach - crowded, cramped - where we would only feel like intruders on other people's vacations. The clatter of the crowd was muffled before a buttery sea breeze, and flowed together with the rhythm of the ocean breaking on the rocks beneath us. A warm sun shared its warmth without pain, and the afternoon sank away as we watched the whales spouting off the coast. 

The whales are humpbacks from the northern seas. They travel here every winter to give birth to their young in the shallow warm waters of the Hawaiian islands. And we can only watch from the shore or from a boat, catching a glimpse now and then of a fin, a tail - only a fraction of these massive creatures. 

Once in a while, one of the whales will breach - fling itself headlong out of the sea toward the sky. For a moment, it is almost completely in the air where it cannot breathe, then the humpback comes crashing back down to to the water with a cannonball tidal-wave. You are blessed to be a witness to such a feat, much more to catch a rare shot with a camera.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Vog, a Red Sun, and Late-blooming Flowers

It's been a long day taking down Christmas. The tree is dead and bare in the living room waiting to be taken away in the morning. Piano lessons are starting back up tomorrow, and I'm taking this last day to clean and to organize, hoping that being tidy will somehow make me more ready to tackle another year of teaching. 

Today, the vog (volcanic fog) rolled in from the south-east, covering the limits of sea-horizon in a voggy veil (forgive my affinity for assonance). The sun set early, vermilion beneath the haze. 


Life has been busy the past few months, and to be honest, New Years Day felt rather same-old same-old to me. As if nothing ever changes, as if there were no hint at how the year would turn out. And then today, I came across John Wesley's Covenant Prayer on the blog A Defined Life

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

My New Year's resolution: to make this attitude my own. I pray that I may be God's, wholeheartedly. With Him, each day brings change in my own life. I pray I am always willing to change for the better. 

Although I have quite a few things to balance right now, I'm hoping to have more time for blogging now that the holidays are over. Writing online is important to me as a creative outlet, and I'm thankful for each of my readers. If you have time and enjoy fantasizing about England as I do, please check out my other blog In Love With England

To close, in the midst of winter, sometimes a very late blooming flower surprises you.

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