Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back from the Holidays

Waipi'o Valley, Big Island, Hawaii.

Being away from home isn't easy for anyone, I don't think, especially around the holidays.  2010 was the first time I spent Christmas outside of Hawaii and away from my family, and while Nate made that Christmas beautiful and special, it just wasn't the same.  So you can bet your ass we went to Hawaii this past year, for a lovely 10 day trip that, in the end, still wasn't enough time.

My family is large.  And loud.  And in-your-business, most of the time.  Any given meal will involve no less than 15 people, and a trip to the nearest town 20 minutes away takes strategic planning and an attention and sensitivity to detail and everyone's needs and feelings.  Our household is dominated by strong women with opinions on the "right way" of doing just about everything.  At any given time, my baby nephew will be crawling around your feet, my niece will be laughing hysterically at something in the next room, and my other nephew will be running in and out of the house with his little neighborhood friends offering promises like a priest and crossing his fingers behind his back. They are the cutest kids in the world.  There are dogs milling about everywhere (the yard, the porch, the house itself), 2 cats (one of which may actually think she's a dog as well), and most likely a full-grown dead mountain boar packed away in the ice chest in our garage (I come from a family of hunters, after all).  My mother and my sisters and I get along like best friends.  We also probably annoy one another like best friends.  My father makes me laugh like no one else in the world can.  I missed my grandfather every single second I was home this year.

We are related to half of our village.  We live in a sleepy country town on the slope of a mountain.  It used to be a sugarcane plantation, and my grandma will still identify areas of our village by camp number.  There was snow on our mountain this year, and someone brought some down in a pick-up truck and built a snowman just across the street.  I think the rain melted it within a few hours.

Hawaii -- the place, the land, the air, the ocean -- it grabs at something inside you.  For all of it's problems and pitfalls (and believe me, there are many), those islands are the most alive place I've ever been.  Regardless of however long I stay away, however long I choose to live in the mainland, I will never not be intricately connected to it.  It's at the center of my history, my family's history, my ancestors histories.  It's home.

This is all just to say that I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and that you were where and with whomever you needed to be with this year.  I was!

Happy New Year.

I'm currently working to figure out The Mystery of the Disappearing Comment Link.  Until then, if you'd like to comment on this post, just click on the post title.  It'll take you to the posts' individual page and you can comment at the bottom.

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