Friday, February 6, 2009

Keep a keen sense of observation … NOTICE

Two young friends from Hawaii are here in Washington. We are planning to drive north to Whidbey Island where they are staying, and visit. Pete and I enjoy being with young people. When I spoke with Becky this morning she sounded fresh and excited to be here. "Cold?" Yes, and it's the pine trees that are getting to her ... in a very good way. Like my young friend, the trees were the folk that totally overwhelmed me when I arrived in Washington as a young woman fresh from the valley of Kuli`ou`ou. Christmas Land! So her excitement is familiar and I notice how the feeling grows in me, too.

This morning as we enjoyed a slow and delicious wake-up Pete and I consciously noticed how different it is to be present for Spring. The bulbs are poking their tips through the ground, tree limbs are sending feelers out and the days are lengthening. Living on the Islands in the Pacific, the seasons change in a more subtle, though nontheless real, way. The sun rises at 7 am and sets at 6:30 pm this month. There's a fifty-fifty exposure to both light and dark. The body rises and sets with that same rhythm as well ... that is if you're not on the clock, the alarm clock. In tropical climates like Hawaii, plants grow all the time or at least it seems that way. Until you notice the plumeria looses all its leaves in the fall and comes back in the spring. I love how I noticed that for the first time when we lived on our family land again, more than twenty-five years later. It takes what it takes doesn't it?

One of the luxuries of this life we are living, and the one for which I give many thanks for on this sweatshirt and socks day, is the luxury of waking when my body is rested. The tiny kitchenette that is our living and sleeping space is easily shaded from the lights of the city in the distance. The heavy glass door seals most of the air and auto traffic, and the Austin Healthmate Jr. creates a white noise as it filters the air. When the nights pass disruptedly, I know I am blessed with sleeping-in until my body can make the move.

I notice the changes that take place in me here in Washington because my eyes and skin aren't getting much sunlight. My skin pales to a shade not much browner than Pete's and I don't look for sunglasses when the clouds clear. After living with sunshine and salt air, we Island transplants need to pay attention to the body in transition. Spring promises the uncoverings. Wherever we are on The Earth, the seasons affect us and if we notice, the seasons will embrace us more than shock. Thank you for wool and the wooly lambs who give us their fleece. I have never appreciated you more than I do now ... between winter and spring, wool is wonderful. I notice this.


  1. Oh goodie, you opened up comments, now I can blah-blah at you here, too.

    Lots of people think Hawaii is summer all the time, but NO! As you noticed, we have seasons, too, though of course not as dramatic as many on the planet, including where you are now. Right now, we have snow on Mauna Kea, flash flooding here and there, landslides, chilly mornings, thunder in the distance, dark rain squalls at sea-- and when it is 62 degrees outside, it is 62 degrees in our homes, sometimes all day! Wool and cashmere are my best friends on those days, too. And like your plumeria, some of our bamboo shed all leaves, ready for a big new flush of green in the spring. In the garden ponds, the fish are less active, no breeding, just cruising along, basking in the sun, fattening up for making babies in the spring. These are just a few of the seasonal things I notice. Stay warm, Mokihana, spring is just around the corner! Aloha! xoxo

  2. Oh Susie, Ain't is amazing how 62 outside comes inside and wow ... it's woolly time. I never used wool when I lived at home, and now, I would. Go figure. I love the description of winter Hawaii, it's so comforting I guess to hear the season is there kela as it is here keia. Honi, tita. Mokihana


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