The only time I’m ever really tempted to lie to complete strangers is when they ask me where I’m from. It’s not that I’m ashamed of my island home: far from it. Rather, as anyone who’s from a place that’s branded as “paradise” by mainstream media knows, the onslaught of questions that follows as soon as you answer can get pretty tiring.
“You’re from Hawai’i? What are you doing here?”
“You were born there? Why did you leave?”
“Can I trade lives with you?”
My most recent reenactment of this conversation yesterday carried a little more emotional weight than usual. For the first time in my “Mainland” life, I haven’t been able to go home for the summer: and although I’m very eager to return to the Big Island come winter, it’s going to be a long wait.
Until I can embark on that infamously long journey from the East Coast to Hilo, I’m spending many happy hours listening to slack-key guitar (as well as my childhood favorite Hawaiian song) and scrolling through the countless photos I took last Christmas. Keola Beamer sang about missing Honolulu’s city lights, but as a Big Island girl, nothing makes me more nostalgic than thoughts of Hilo Bay, the glow up in the National Park, or even shopping at KTA (after driving nearly an hour to get to “town”!). He was right about one thing, though–it’s never easy to leave again!
Loki the lava-dachshund enjoys taking long walks up the Mauna Loa strip road, where he can easily blend in with the ground.
I used to love collecting pukiawe berries as children; I was partial to the bright pink ones, but these white ones are pretty cool too.
The Devastation Trail in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park always makes me feel like I’m on another planet.
On a cloudy day (very common with the standard Volcano rain!), the Strip Road is transformed into a mysterious, brooding forest.
As is Loki transformed into a mysterious, brooding dog.