aloha every day

aloha every day

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aloha Summer!

My summer is officially winding down....T- 2 days before school starts.  I am very excited for my first full year in my own classroom, but I am not excited about how busy my life gets once grad school starts.  

Here is a run-down of my wonderful "stay-cation" summer (that I haven't already blogged)!
My summer started here.  This is the closest beach to my school.  This was actually a "chilly" day at the beach.  Hehe.

I walked A LOT beside this stream which runs behind my apartment building.

We went to the North Shore!!

These are the pineapple fields on the way to the N. Shore

Yes, it was raining as we made our way up there.  However, it NEVER matters if it is raining or sunny.  The beaches, although beautiful, are not the main event up is the slowing of life that matters.

We waited out the rain in typical N.Shore fashion

Voila!  The rain passed....

The Ranger and I went on MANY adventures together and he always kept me safe.  I thanked him yesterday with a thorough washing.

I cooked A LOT!  Thanks to our CSA veggie boxes, I've experimented with using kale, chard, and collard greens...Nick called these "Pots of Gold".

"S" shaped pasta!  Veggies from the CSA box, again!

Nick baked...and baked some more...YUM!

I read at the beach...

We caught the blooming of the flowers outside Punahou school!  Apparently it is rare to see...

I sewed...yes, I sewed a dress for myself!  AND from this fabulous pattern from the 60's.

See? I really did!

I gazed out at our fabulous view.  If you look left, you can see the beautiful steeple of Central Union Church.....
...and if you look straight out, you see the Ko'olaus!

Mostly, I enjoyed the solace of my toes in the sand, the sound of the tide washing ashore....there is no greater peace!

Great thing about Hawaii?  If you live here, this is ALL at your budgeting necessary to make it happen.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Phoebe in Wonderland

"At a certain point in your life, probably when too much of it has gone by, you will open your eyes and see yourself for who you are, especially for everything that made you so different from all the awful normals, and you will say to yourself, "But I AM this person", and in that statement, that correction, there will be a kind of love." 
- from the movie "Phoebe in Wonderland"

When I open my eyes (and yes, I often fear that my life is slipping by quickly without living it fully) these are the things that separate me from the norms of being a 28 year-old woman:

  •  I'd rather go barefoot than EVER wear shoes
  • -Because of that, I don't enjoy having shoes, so I don't buy them, nor do I have a collection of them
  • I'd rather have 5 nice pieces of clothing than a closet full
  • I'd rather have one bottle of lotion that soothes my soul than 10 that only soothe my sunburn
  • I'd rather have time to myself than spend time climbing any ladders for others to see
  • I'm not trying to be skinny, nor do I ever want to be.  I appreciate my muscles.
  • I don't own lipstick, nor do I want to
  • I don't wear high heels outside of fancy occasions.  I'm tall enough already.

These things do not make me better than anyone else...for who is the judge?  They do, however, make me different.  And yes, as the teacher said in "Phoebe in Wonderland" (you MUST see this movie), there is a kind of love in that.  I love the things that make me different.  I would never trade them in to be "normal".

Monday, July 12, 2010


Of all of the wonderful beaches here on O'ahu, this one is my favorite.  There is no parking lot, no store nearby, no most I've seen 5 people here and they are typically throwing fishing nets into the ocean.  This beach is not a tourist stop. I've laid next to monk seals, both of us basking in the solace of unknown territory.  I've played my guitar while singing loudly, and there was no one to tell me not to.  

It is the single most spiritual place I have encountered in my lifetime.

In short, it is HERE that I come into a place of complete abandonment.  I abandon any notions of what should be done today, any thoughts of responsibility towards anything but my connection to the land.  I abandon time, worry, doubt, and fear.  Gone are the ties that bind.

The ocean has blessed me with some amazing gifts at this beach.  It was here, during one of my beach clean-up sessions that I found my large cowrie that I strung and now wear around my neck.  I am careful not to take shells that are not given.  My cowrie was buried in the sand, its resident long since vacated, and was waiting for me next to a piece of trash.

This place is so special to me that I hesitate sharing it...but here goes... 

Here I am at the beach today.  I don't come here to swim (this is not a swimming or tan on a bright towel.  I come here to think, to give back to the ocean by cleaning the beach, and to connect back to who I am and why I am here.

Today I explored the tide pools before combing for trash.  LIFE!  The water was crashing, the guppies were swimming, the crabs were clicking and crawling. 

While exploring the tide pools in the morning sun, I heard the words of Rachel Carson from her book "The Edge of the Sea" in my head.  "A rocky coast, even though it is swept by surf, allows life to exist openly through adaptations for clinging to the firm surfaces provided by the rocks and by other structural provisions for dissipating the force of the waves."  Okay, so I didn't have ALL of that in my head, but I could only imagine what it would be like to have her there with me, exploring and discussing the patterns existing in front of our eyes.  She was amazing.  

This is my favorite picture of the day.  Check out all the action...the breaking wave in the background, the rolling water over the rocks, the reflection in the tide pool, the sun shining on everything...I just LOVE IT

This little guy found a great home...complete with a window!  I could only hope for a home as beautiful...maybe one day...

These are the lichens (I think?) that were visible because the tide was super low.  I've seen them before, but for some reason today, they begged to be photographed.  Just beautiful. Their spirals remind me of the perfect spiral existent in a cone shell.

Here's a seaweed that was growing next to the lichen.  I was stoked that my camera took such a clear picture! 

A beautiful lichen fan...

The perfection of nature's design.

This is the only shell I found today.  It was the top of a cone shell that had been quite weathered.  I left it there, as I did not feel like it was mine to take today. 

This, my friends, is a sea cucumber.  Upon close observation, it was breathing, moving, expanding and contracting...awesome...
I felt like it was saying to me, "Okay.  You've slowed, follow me: Breathe, expand, contract...that's's just that simple."  Thank you, sea cucumber. My anxious tendencies needed that.

My tradition upon leaving this wonderful sanctuary is to practice a simple meditation.  It goes like this:  Close your eyes and, one at a time, go through your senses.  Be aware of what you hear.  Be aware of what you smell.  Be aware of what you feel (physically feel, not emotionally...this one is really hard).  Be aware of what you taste.  Then open your eyes.  What you see will be more vibrant and meaningful. 

My day ended with a perfect pineapple....why don't I eat pineapple more often!?  It tasted incredible.

"And so in that enchanted place on the threshold of the sea the realities that possessed my mind were far from those of the land world I had left an hour before."
- Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea

Thursday, July 8, 2010

She sells seashells

She sells seashells down by the seashore... 
(actually I don't sell them...I just like them)

Hail, hail, the gang's all here
"When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment.  It is an impossibility.  It is even a lie to pretend to.  And yet this is exactly what most of us demand.  We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.  We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb.  We are afraid it will never return."
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

"On its smooth symmetrical face is pencilled with precision a perfect spiral, winding inward to the pinpoint center of the shell, the tiny dark core of the apex, the pupil of the eye.  It stares at me, this mysterious single eye-and I stare back."
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

"My eye follows with delight the outer circumference of that diminutive winding staircase up which this tenant used to travel.  My shell is not like this, I think.  How untidy it has become!  Blurred with moss, knobby with barnacles, its shape is hardly recognizable any more.  Surely, it had a shape once.  It has a shape still in my mind.  What is the shape of my life?"
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

"What release to write so that one forgets oneself, forgets one's companion, forgets where one is or what one is going to do next- to be drenched in work as one is drenched in sleep or in the sea." 
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

"Some days bring special gifts; I am honored knowing that I am not alone.  I rejoice." 
-Cynthia Derosier and Time Anderson, The Surfer Spirit

"I am sure no amount of drill would have implanted the names so firmly as just going through the woods in the spirit of two friends on an expedition of exciting discovery...If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." 
-Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

"...the best relationship of all: not a limited, mutually exclusive one, like the sunrise shell; and not a functional, dependent one, as in the oyster bed; but the meeting of two whole fully developed people as persons." 
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

"Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid.  And my shells?  I can sweep them all into my pocket.  They are only there to remind me that the sea recedes and returns eternally."
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea


Kev and Bra

These are my  brothers...that's right, my bloodline.  
They were at the airport waiting for their bags in this shot.

They are wonderful people...
Bra is Indiana Jones and likes to study classics.  Here he is in Italy.

Kev is superman and knows how to fly. 

They even like to dress alike.

Alongside these things, my brothers are my heroes.  No flowery words needed.  Just MY HEROES.

Celebrate Life

   This is a post from last year that I forgot to publish.  It has been in my draft folder for a year.  Does that tell you anything about how busy we've been.  While reading, remember that this was LAST YEAR at this time.

Brandon's graduation!

The view from our new apartment

Our honeymoon

It has certainly been 7 months since my last post and there has been SO MUCH going on...Here's the run-down:

In February, we were both accepted to school at UH! Nick is going to get his Masters in Educational Foundations and I am getting my masters in Special Education. We are excited and a little nervous about the time and concentration that going back school is going to take away from our free time!

In March we went on our honeymoon in rocked! Spent time in Manzanita and then in the city. Despite the cold, we really liked the city itself!

Shortly after we returned from our honeymoon, our apartment was burglarized. It was a crazy experience, to say the least. Luckily neither of us were home when the burglar came. Our neighbors saw him knocking on our door, but just thought he was a friend of ours. He took our computers, camera, guitar, and jewelry. We learned a lot about security and what we will and will not accept as a living space. I had been inhibited about living there, but did not listen to myself...

The next week, we moved into a wonderful new apartment! Despite the reasoning behind why we moved, we feel like we are meant to be here! We now have a pool, bbq area, basketball courts, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a rockin' view and LOTS of security!

Unfortunately, the week after we moved in, Nick's dad passed away. We are so glad that he had the chance to visit us here on Oahu in January. He loved it here and was talking about another trip to visit us. We are so sad that he never got that chance. We are so extremely heartbroken over his passing.  His life was too short, as was Dona's.  My husband is amazingly strong, and I am right here beside him for when he doesn't feel so strong.

The next weekend, Brandon graduated from college at U of A with a bachelor's degree in Classics. I am so proud of him. We always been really close, like twins, and I couldn't have been more emotional as he walked across that stage! He moved to San Diego and is now living with Kevin.

After the Illinois/Arizona trip, I came back to O'ahu for the Punahou dance recital. My kiddos really did well! The next week, I headed back home to NM to help my mom organize the "Stuff" from my childhood and beyond. It was a week full of action, to say the least. We got everything organized, though, and I now have a new nickname... the "Slave Driver".

I'm now finally back on the island indefinitely and am so thankful to be home. Nick and I have been able to spend a lot of quality time together that we haven't had a lot of time to do since our wedding. It's been a crazy first 6 months of marriage! So crazy, in fact, that I am JUST NOW changing my name! Wow!