One of the facts of life about living in Hawai’i is that we get so caught up in the normalcy of living here that it often slips our minds that this is a paradise that many would give their appendix to come an visit – much less to have the opportunity to live here. Seeing Hawai’i through the eyes of someone who lives here is different – and uniquely beautiful . As we’ve been having some wet and rainy weather these past several weeks, I decided to roll with it and share a bit of the way that I see this home of ours.
(1) On my drive to work, I have a panoramic view of the Ala Wai golf course which borders the back side of Waikiki. As I look up into the Ko’olaus (mountain range), I am often treated to a preview of the coming daily weather. (2) My office is located in downtown Honolulu and my favorite get-out-of-the-dang-chair-and-move-your-body walks takes me past the Hawaii State Art Museum. Besides housing a historical permanent collection, the museum hosts a wide variety of art shows and is home to one of the best eateries in town. Yes, food is ALWAYS important! (3) ALOHA! is the well-intentioned welcome and fare-thee-well of the islands. Another historical landmark that is within walking distance of my office is the Aloha Tower Marketplace; it was the landing dock for many ocean-faring ships welcoming visitors and newcomers from the mainland and further abroad. (4) If you haven’t worked this one out yet, Honolulu is one of those cities that has created a metropolis around it’s history. Because of that, we are witness to the past and present co-existing and forming the identity of who we are now and shaping the future. Here is one of my favorite views of the I’olani Palace with the downtown highrise buildings in the background. Hawai’i is the only state in the union which was it’s own internationally-recognized, independent nation prior to the annexation by the US citizens. The Hawaiian history is complicated, tragic and gracious … and is intriguing and seductive and a HUGE part of a story that I’ve been working on recently. (5) Hawai’i is the paradise that many can only imagine and the foliage never hesitates to unabashedly display its beauty; there’s a reason that the colors that soothe me are greens, blues and browns. (6) Our little home is located in Kaimuki on the back slopes of Diamond Head. We are a 5-minute drive from the beaches of Waikiki. When I open the window on our old plantation-style house, my eyes rest on the gentle rise of Diamond Head and our landlord’s papaya trees.
The places we call home become part of our very marrow; sometimes we forget that it is elemental to who we are and, most of the time, we forget to pause to ponder the beauty of all of it. Take a moment today to look around and take it all in. It does a body good.