Pete and I have been on a crisp, invigorating walk not far from the Mill Town and yet far enough to be a part of the wild. Along the wide-spreading Snohomish River, the asphalt walkway is rising in places, rising like miniature volcanoes where the roots of maples and trees whose names we don't know expand as they do in nature course. Though the sound of traffic from a nearby freeway is a din for company, the whole of the Snohomish Valley command our attention and I feel the wild. It's a wet New Year's Eve here in the Pacific Northwest.
Our plan for the end of 2009 include a pan of homemade blueberry and cornmeal pan bread, pot roasted chicken with carrots and the movie Julie and Julia with Merle(yupps, sorry Meryl) Streep. We love Julia Child and Merle Streep, so dinner with that movie promises a well-fed and entertaining conclusion to a very full year.Tonight is Mahealani Moon, the full moon and a Blue Moon. The tides will be full, the river was at full flood as we walked alongside. It seemed to be in no rush to go any way as we walked a good clip the river was just present. Pete and I shared stories while we walked, and more stories as we sat earlier in our favorite bakery restaurant. The subject of memories of the old men in our lives ... the old men who were old when we were very young. Elsa P wrote a wonderfully rich post with pictures of the old men who came to the bar where she tended bar at 19. I read the post and followed the link to a story of a precious man who in so many ways tended that young Elsa, preparing her well for the life she would live decades later. Elsa's story tapped the memories in me of old men who were part of the small kid times of my Hawaii. My Dad and his drinking buddies, Mr. Pung the neighborhood Fuller Brush Man/Insurance Man/WearEver Cookwear/Cutlery Man/Never-a-silent moment Man, Uncle Bob the first and old black man in the valley/our new door neighbor/Ebony Magazine subscriber, Tata Pacheco fishnet maker, cigar smoking prophet and teller of tales that made my father laugh and cry at the same time. Pete remembers the old men who taught him to keep that shovel moving, never standing still on the job-site, setting standards he has maintained on his way to becoming that old man himself.
We are becoming that old man, that old woman. This year has filled with ventures and adventures neither of us could have imagined and surely they were not the stories we heard when we were surrounded by the old men (and old women). The old man Father Time will wrap up one more year in a few hours. The year has been filled with time noticed and time invisible to us because we were so busy with time.We are grateful for the enduring nature of our journey sometimes such a struggle it has felt like our undoing. And yet, we have walked along the river together and enjoyed the time today noticing, remembering, appreciating just how far we have come.We send you prayers and wishes for a good year ending, and hope the new one is filled with many times of noticing how wild this life really is.
If you're wondering what the Moon is like tonight ...From the The Native Hawaiian Moon Calendar
Mahealani is the second night in which the moon does not set until after sunsrise. It is the last of the four full moons and is also considered the 'calendar' full moon. Mahea means 'hazy, as moonlight' and the plants are prolific and large on this night. This time is good for all kinds of work. Currents run strong at this time but fishing is good.Kulu
On this night the moon's rising is delayed until after darkness sets in. Kulu means 'to flow, as tears'. The banana's sheath drops off on this day, not unlike falling tears, exposing its new bunch. It is a good time for potatoes and melons. This is the time for offering the seasons first fruits to akua. Currents are strong, but it is a good time for fishing.
Hauoli Makahiki Hou Kakou (happy new year to you all)
Mokihana and Pete