The Big, Remote Island

Island views, photo by kajmeister outside the condo.

Imagine loading your family, your small tribe, on to a boat along with livestock, vegetables, and water, then rowing 2000 miles. Randomly, hoping you’ll find someplace else to stay because the place you came from was constantly threatened by very bossy other tribes, with bigger machetes. Rationing the food, day by day, slowly wondering if you’d die of thirst, massive waves in the sudden squalls, or in a fight with your neighbor who won’t stop talking about how everything had been better back home. Then, you finally see a shadow to the north that isn’t just another ocean storm.

Even today, the most comfortable direct flight from San Francisco to Hawaii takes five hours, flying over clouds and water and more clouds, more water, until suddenly this brilliant green farmland dotted with windmills suddenly springs beneath. The green turns to a long stretch of black rock and tan scrub that looks recently fire-scorched, then the runway. Out you go from your chilly northern home and air-conditioned plane into that tropical air, refreshing at first, but just you wait. It will soon suck out all your energy, but you won’t care. Palm trees and water will weave their mystical glamor on you. Welcome to the Big Island.

We have come to the islands for a week squeezed in the off-season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The next few blogs should make you hear the roll of surf, the rush of air across the palm fronds, the endless morning birdsong, the morning hedge clippers…. well, there are a lot of hedges and they are always growing.

Continue reading “The Big, Remote Island”