This, of course, is why we come. Coco's smile is never more genuine than when she is on the beach, near the ocean. Her relationship to the sun has shifted since her melanoma (hence the supersuit) but her relationship to the island has not. The bio on her website still reads in part "My soul-home is in Maui, Hawaii. My birth home is in Seattle, WA. My current home is in Bellingham, WA." I can see this truth whether she is quietly studying the landscape or searching the tide pools for turtles or letting the power of the waves embrace her.
Which is not to say that our trips to Hawaii are not problematic to us. We are both well aware of the colonial adventurism and history of deceit that made Hawaii part of the U.S., and of the high environmental impact of maintaining the tourism-based economy on the island - and of just getting to and from it. In our previous forays into moving to Hawaii, we often wondered how deeply we would wind up involved with the sovereignty movement and how ironic that might be. For now, we try to move gently and mindfully through a land that is still pretty close to paradise in many ways.
In any case, we return refreshed and ready for what will likely be a tough year ahead.
Bonus bits and bobs:
I paid a visit on our last day to Maui Comics and Collectibles, the only comic book store on Maui. Look for a report on that experience in an upcoming He is a Thark.
Our last beer in the island was in the airport lounge, which has these crazy cool fans:
Coco thinks I have recorded this before, but I couldn't find it on Pog and Vodka..
On the plane ride home, the latch fell out of the seat back in front of me and I could no longer return my tray to its full upright and locked position. The flight attendant came up with this interim repair job, and I needed to change seats for the landing for safety reasons (the word "impale" was used more than once).
That's is for this edition of #HawaiianEye. Mahalo.
My happy vacation face.