momentary revolutions

At this moment, in two weeks, I’ll be departing to California.  I can’t figure out if it’s because I’m leaving or if I’ve just learned to be a happier person, but these past few weeks have been amazing.  Shortly after I decided to move, I made the conscious decision to live in the moment and enjoy myself as much as possible until I leave.  I understand that it may be a while until I return to Hawaii and I may never have the chance to live here again; I want to spend my time relishing my Hawaii ohana and the immense beauty that surrounds me.  Outside of work, I’ve been mostly surfing, spending time with friends, gardening, hiking, etc. Of course I’ve spent time packing and taking care of the particulars of moving, but I’ve been able to simplify the process due to choices I’ve made.

Making this choice to live in the moment has been revolutionary for me.  I normally would be suffering from crippling anxiety and instead I’ve decided not to worry about my future until I have to.  I’m going to let life unfold in California when I get there.  And I’m not afraid.  I feel like this is how I’m supposed to live – moment by moment, trusting myself – and I have somehow now just learned this at 39.

A word that has come to mind lately is “liberated”.  I’m okay with not knowing the future.  I’m okay not knowing if things will work out or not when I move.  I’m okay with trusting things WILL work out…whether it’s in California or elsewhere.

The bigger question is…what will I call my blog???



Resurrection from the dead

Amazingly, a plant I thought was long dead reemerged from the potting soil.  About 2 months ago, I turned the soil and planted a single basil seed.  The basil never seeded, but I was delighted to see the plant had come back.  For me, if a plant dies, I feel like I’ve failed.  So this was good news.  It was like an old friend I thought I’d never see again.  I know it’s just a plant, but the idea of rebirth and resurrection is meaningful to me, more than ever.

Plant, take 2

Plant, take 2






Solace as a place

Wherever I live I try to find a place where I can find solace, usually involving somewhere in nature.  When I lived in San Diego, I spent hours on the cliffs overlooking Blacks Beach.  My favorite time was dusk when the ocean turned a golden iridescent color. As the sun sank toward the horizon, the reflection shot back toward the shore, creating a blinding golden path.

Cliffs of La Jolla, Blacks Beach

When I moved to Washington, DC, I struggled to find that place, particularly due to living in an urban center with more buildings than open space.  DC is known for it’s numerous parks and which helped, but it didn’t quite make up for the ocean.  I found myself going on runs to the National Cathedral.  Partially because it was only 2 miles away.  But there was a beautiful English garden there that I’d spend sometimes hours at.  I would lie on the wooden benches in the early evening and stare up at the majestic building before me.

National Cathedral Garden

National Cathedral at twilight

I have been thinking about where that place is for me in Hawaii and what resonates most is Diamond Head.   I suppose not many people around the world can say Continue reading

The moon smiles

I wrote this back in May, under a bright moon at Portlock point:

Does the moon look down on us and laugh once in a while?

Wink to the ocean, its close friend?

It’s a silent witness of all that is here on earth.

If the ocean thinks I’m small, the moon smiles at my pettiness.


photo credit: David Chatsuthiphan @ Unreal Hawaii

Living on the rock

May 1 2012
Hawaii Kai
Portlock point

It’s amazing to be standing on the very end of an island as the water
rushes by. I watch the swells surge around the rocky point to my left,
glimmering in the moonlight. Knowing this very water is circulating
into gyres and passing through to thousands of other islands, other
continents, feels powerful.

That we are here, on this rock, just a piece of land in the middle of
nowhere, is… humbling. To each and every one of us on this island, our lives are so
valuable and important.  Our obsessions and material possessions
consume us.  To the ocean we are nothing: a tiny speck on its path.

I like feeling small. It reminds me of the simpleness of life.

source: Unreal Hawaii

Gas, liquids, solids and surf

Pretty amazing how chemistry can practically bring me to tears.  Memories of being in high school and not “getting it” come to the surface and I feel like I just can’t do it.  But I have to in order to graduate.  I’m sitting here, glaring at my chem book and sipping seltzer water.

Been surfing a lot in the past week.  I feel like I owe it to myself to get back into it.  The last time I surfed regularly was over 10 years ago and I may as well be a complete beginner again. The past year I’ve been in Hawaii I look at the waves almost daily and I want to be in waves, not just observing them.  I think it’s time.  We’ll see how long it lasts, but I hope it stays with me.

I am not sure why I threw myself back into school this fall so quickly.  I wanted a distraction and I had no idea what else to do with myself.  So I walked forward in the only direction I knew how to at the time.  So here I am.  Crying over chemistry.

Sole-less in paradise

Yesterday somewhere around Makapu’u, the sole of my hiking boots peeled off as I was walking.  I looked down and they were just flapping there, hanging on toward the back heel like a loose tooth about to fall out on a 7-year old.  Though I will not be receiving 50 cents under my pillow, sadly.  I pulled them off, walked back, and hung out on the shore. I was bummed, I really loved my boots, we’ve been through a lot together.  I’m surprised I hadn’t named them like so many other of my inanimate objects I adore (sad or funny?).  I blame it on Pele and Mauna Loa Summit.  That hike did me in, and apparently, my shoes too.  I suppose days on black a’a lava with a heavy pack will do that.  It seems like a timely end though.  They’d been through a lot.

My friend said it’s nothing shoe glue can’t fix, but I kind of want new ones.  Though I did think they were the best hiking shoes in the world and were never going to fall apart.  Even yesterday, I gazed down at them in admiration.  I have prided myself in making such a wise decision to purchase them 10 years ago at Hudson Trail Outfitters in DC. They were on sale and everything I wanted in a hiking boot.  And then yesterday they just fell apart.  Both at the same time, right in front of my eyes.

the boots. the soles. but not together.

Beautiful underworld

I long to be in the ocean, feeling the water swirl up around me as I descend.  Diving and snorkeling have been a soothing distraction these days.  When I enter the underworld of the ocean I am immediately in awe.  How could I not be distracted by the beauty?  And the silence. I love it.

As a child, many of my drawings were of mermaids.  I was obsessed with them.  I wanted to be a mermaid or at least be able to breathe underwater.  Sometimes I still daydream of being a mermaid.

From the surface, you would never know what lay beneath the water.  Once you enter, it’s a completely different realm.  I want to live there.


Learning a new way to be

When it’s hot, I like to jump in the pool for a quick swim before I go to bed. I swim the modified backstroke, looking up toward the stars as I glide over the water.  I feel like a water bug that juts across streams and ponds, practically walking on water.  Blooming plumeria trees fill the air with a wonderful aroma – one of my favorites.  I see heads peaking outside their windows: who is in the pool this late?

I was swimming on Sunday at Kamainas, thinking of my mother and hoping to see a honu (sea turtle).  That if I saw one, it would somehow be a sign.  Of what? I don’t know.  But I love sea turtles and without sounding too corny, I think they are very special.  Shortly after, I looked down as I swam and there is the biggest honu I’ve seen at Kamainas directly below me.  It was feeding on some of the algae growing on a large rock.  Most of the time, they swim away once a human is hovering above them.  But this one just stayed there, floating around the rock as I ducked down below to get a closer look. Perhaps it was older, wiser and understood it was a protected species.  As if it knew we weren’t supposed to touch or harm it.  Or maybe Continue reading

well, that was a bad idea

Chemistry and biology at the same time during a 6-week summer session was most definitely not the greatest idea I’ve had. Therefore, I dropped biology yesterday.  What a great decision it was!  I appreciate my ambitious nature but I was beginning to question my sanity.  It has been a long and exhausting summer.  Or more like a long and busy spring that bled into summer and hasn’t stopped since.

A bit sad right now that the wonderful elation I was feeling from my time in Mozambique has significantly waned, mostly due to overwhelming myself with school and work.  Only back a little over 3 weeks and it feels like it never happened. But I trust it will come back.  Amazing experiences always Continue reading

Snorkeling Song

From last week…

Pemba, Mozambique


What a beautiful day outside, though it has been beautiful most days. Some say Hawaii is paradise and I agree, but this is my version of paradise. I’m not necessarily living in reality right now, though in the moment, it’s a great place to be. I spent the last few hours snorkeling in the area in front of the house. I had heard you could snorkel out front, but I wasn’t sure what to expect.

At first it was just sea grass. Lots of it. I was swimming deeper and deeper and still nothing. Not one fish or coral. So I decided to move south, parallel along the shore and finally found a sweet spot. The visibility was decent. In regards to sea life, it wasn’t spectacular but it was beautiful; a lot of very interesting star fish and corals. I saw several eels and a wide variety of colorful fish. Large bright red and beige starfish seemed to be everywhere with these little nubby things on them. On a few occasions I spotted huge odd looking starfish with up to 15 fingers: they were green with 1-2 inch purple spikes all over them. They frightened me a bit, they were so weird. Then there were the awesome big bright blue star fish with long fingers.

I love watching the coral growths sway in the water like hair and observing the little fish that like to hide in them. There were bright green fuzzy looking corals that almost look like moss from afar but when you go closer they have tentacles all over them in circular shapes. Brilliant! But what was most amazing to me was Continue reading

If Pahoehoe were a man, I’d marry it

This is just one of many odd conversations I had with Mallory on the way down from the Mauna Loa volcano summit:  “If Pahoehoe were a man, I’d marry it”.  I was delirious from altitude sickness, lack of sleep and exhaustion.  To explain, pahoehoe is a type of Hawaiian lava with a “smooth and ropy surface”, in contrast with ‘a’a, which is “jagged and clinkery”.  You can imagine which one is easier to walk on.  We literally clocked about 1 mile per hour walking through ‘a’a, whereas pahoehoe was like walking on a paved sidewalk, but fun.

The 4-day hike to the Mauna Loa summit was absolutely amazing to say the least.  Surrounded by nothing but miles of miles of lava with no humans in sight for four days was epic.  I never knew how colorful and gorgeous different types, shades, and shapes of lava could be.  I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland, but instead of Wonderland it was the planet Mars on acid.  Throughout the hike, I would pause and take in the scenery around me, amazed by the vast and beautiful fields of diverse lava.

It sounds dramatic to say I came down the volcano changed person. I didn’t expect to feel this way.  I actually didn’t know what to expect.  I’ve always prided  myself in being Continue reading