A week on Hawaii’s Big Island was paradise: a perfect nonfiction writing workshop with compassionate and talented teachers; red-headed and yellow-bodied birds chirping their morning happiness, nightly stars popping out of the darkness.
And new writing friends with stories that focused on the should’s of traveling with an old friend, confronting an alcoholic/questioning dad, a John McPhee-like piece about walking on a lava path of petroglyphs.
My two-mile walk of choice paralleled the beach.
Making friends with the Pacific was huge. I loved staying buoyant in its turquoise warmth, the melding of ocean and air temperatures. No need to snorkel, kayak, paddle board, or play with beach toys. Floating was enough for me. Perhaps I’ll cross a wider swath of the Pacific, travel to Vietnam or Thailand, not sticking only to western culture in future treks around the planet.
One afternoon, keeping an eye on one of my housemates who snorkeled for hours, I saw something large and dark on the horizon. That spouting whale surprise made my day.
I doubt if I’ll get to circumnavigate the globe, but I’ve circumnavigated Hawaii’s big Island. On our day off from writing, two of my housemates and I drove from micro-climate to micro-climate. What a kick!
Wish I had a photo of Uncle Bob hawking us from the side of the road. “Stop, stop,” we three shouted at the same time. We each sipped the milk from our coconuts, then his nephew cut them up, bagging them together with pieces of pineapple for afternoon snacks.
Next time, I’ll hike the eight miles up and back across one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
What struck me this first day back in Tucson — seeing license plates from Michigan, Montana, Missouri, and New Mexico.
On our Hawaiian island tourists and natives alike sport the same license plate. Perhaps that’s one reason why everyone was so nice. Far out in the Pacific, we all somehow belonged together.