It's been a little over a month since my last post. After my trip home to Hawaii in July, I had to take a much needed break from blogging. I hope you didn't mind. Going home was an emotional roller coaster for me in many ways, and I needed some time to process it all.
Prior to going home for a visit, I had been gone for over 3 years. There was much I had missed about Hawaii, and I was looking forward to seeing old friends, eating my favorite 'local kine grinds', checking out some old haunts, recharging my solar-and-hydro-powered soul, and above all, catching up on some family time!
However, due to an unexpected loss, my trip turned out to be a mix of joyous return and deep grief. Hence the needed time to recuperate.
It's interesting the things that pull you back to normalcy.
Just the other day I received a comment on one of my blog posts from my mom. She was simply reflecting on some of the pictures I had taken of my dad's garden while I was there, and she added her own commentary on the memories these plants and flowers brought to her mind.
I think her words and her writing can give you all a background look into why I am the writer that I am today.
Here are the telling words of a drifter's mom...(for more background info on what she is referring to, check out the post here.)
Reflections of a Drifter's Mom
"Yes, you're right JR; each plant has a special meaning. For example, the Mountain Apple actually came from Halawa Valley as a keiki* and grew into this beautiful tree! It gives us fragrant fruits twice a year; in the summer and sometimes in October. They are so yummy! The neighborhood kids love eating it, too."
*Hawaiian word for baby or child
"Whenever I see [the mountain apple tree] I often think of the many summers when my sisters and I went down to Halawa with our grandpa, grandma and other family members. So much fun!"
"One of our aunties would always bring her famous baked charsiu chicken and delicious carrot cake. So ono!"
"The taro patch, stream, ocean and path to the falls was our playground. I can still see and smell my tutu* frying up fresh o'opu^ and lenalena# pancakes. Mmmmmm...good!"
*Hawaiian term of endearment and respect for a grandparent or elder
^A freshwater fish that grows in the streams of Hawaii
#Authentic Molokai-style homemade pancakes
"Walking the valley with my tutu and visiting family and friends who lived there was one of the highlights of our summer trips."
"I can still hear her calling out, 'Hui!'* as she approached their homes, and them saying in return, 'E Komo Mai!'^ "
"As they spoke Hawaiian to one another it sounded so beautiful. The words flowed so gently from their mouths, like music to my ears."
"Now they are all gone, but the memories are still etched in my heart and memory."
*Hawaiian way of respectfully calling out to announce your arrival or get someone's attention
^Traditional phrase for inviting, welcoming or giving someone permission to approach
"Hey! Talking about the hibiscus... you missed the beautiful pink one. It bloomed not too long after you left. Maybe next time you'll get to see it."
"Side Note: The yellow hibiscus with the red center actually came from Kilohana School. The school you attended when you were little."
"And the yellow hibisicus with the pale pink center actually came from Lanai. It came from the yard of my bridemaid who is still a very good friend of ours."
"[I] enjoy reading your blog. Hana hou!*"
*Hawaiian phrase to encourage the person to do it again, keep going
Lessons Learned From a Trip Home
Traveling can be an eye-opening experience from many different angles. Not only do you learn things about other places, people and cultures, but you also learn a lot about yourself and where you come from.
Going home for a visit once in a while can sometimes be like much needed therapy to bring you back and make you whole again.
Thanks, Mom, for your awesome comments and for taking us back on a trip into what it was like for you growing up on the island of Molokai, Hawaii!
Check out these books and DVDs for more info on Molokai, Hawaii:
I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters has deeply affected my view of travel. Read more...