During my five trips to Hawaii I have gathered various items to me and brought them back here to Georgia. When I touch them or see them they lead me back to where I want to be in 2019. The following are a few of these items.
In my bedroom across from my bed is my television which is flanked by two tall bookcases. Hanging on a rod spanning the gap between the bookcases are 33 leis which were given to me, two of which are made of black kukui nuts. Some of the dried leis are so distinctive that I remember the person and the occasion when I received it! Each day that I see them I remember the kindness of the persons who gave them to me. On the night before I finally move to the Big Island in June of 2019 I intend on taking the 31 dried flower leis out into the backyard. I will make a small pile of them, sprinkle some incense granules on them, light them and pray as they are consumed and incense smoke drifts heavenward. When I board my flight the next day I will be wearing the two kukui nut leis.
During my trips I have taken hundreds of photos! On the walls of my bedroom are 144 of them each individually framed. Some remind me of Hawaii’s incomparable beauty, some remind me of places that I have visited, some remind me of people I met there and with whom I celebrated meals and friendship. These photos are the visual carrot that I dangle daily before my eyes, letting them lead me on towards 2019!
On my first trip to Hawaii in June of 2004 I went to my first Swap Meet at Aloha Stadium. The number of vendors seemed to be beyond counting! As I passed one of them I noticed a ceramic incense burner. The bowl has two dragon heads for handles, two dragons on the front hold the pearl of wisdom between them, two dragons embrace the back, a fantastic dragon crouches on top of the lid and 3 dragon’s feet support the bowl. Every detail is perfectly and precisely painted in green, turquoise, red, burnt sienna, and cream white. My gut reaction to this piece was so instantaneous and strong that I knew I was not leaving Hawaii without it! When I saw that it was only $22 I snatched it up! On subsequent trips to Swap Meets I have never again seen it offered for sale! For the trip home I swathed the burner with all of my two weeks of dirty clothes, praying that the ceramic piece would survive the trip and all of the baggage handlers. It did! It will accompany me back to Hawaii on my move in 2019.
Being bald and needing protection from Hawaii’s intense sun, on each trip I have purchased a straw hat to protect my head. A few of them got left behind in Hawaii but there are three that made the trips back to Georgia with me! As I work around our property here in the smothering Savannah heat and humidity I feel a simple happiness knowing I have a bit of Hawaii on my head protecting me. All of these items could be thought of as tokens from trips but I prefer to think of them as relics of Hawaii which I intend on bringing back to Hawaii with me in 2019.