Tag Archives: Hawaii

Project 365, #365: It was a dark and stormy…morning?

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This year is going out with a bang, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Since last night, we’ve had strobe-light lighting, thunder that shakes the house, floods of rain, skies so dark you can’t tell if it’s morning or dusk… We’re certainly getting a show here on the second-to-last day of 2013!

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Project 365, Triptych: Christmas At Home.

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#350: Hawaii Christmas Wreath.

Not quite as gorgeous as when it was fresh, but still lovely. This is a wreath Mum designed and crafted from local plants she gathered herself.

 

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#351: Wrapping Station.

With no guests staying the vacation rental side of the house, we can turn the extra bedroom into a gift wrapping station! Mum is also using it as a sewing room, with her work table set up at the end of the bed.

 

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#352: Our Christmas Tree!

Mum had the brilliant idea this year to get a tall skinny artificial tree so it would actually fit in our tiny living space without rearranging everything.

I absolutely love it! The proportions look fabulously art deco, which gives the whole thing an appropriately eclectic feel when decorated with the contrast of Mum’s old-fashioned unique ornaments. Then we wrapped the base with a tree skirt sewn and gifted to us years ago by one of Mum’s sisters.

The whole display fits our home and suits our family perfectly.

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Project 365, #302: Ocean.

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Some days all you want to do is sit by the water, watching and listening to the ocean…

This is especially true of my Mum, who loves being by the water about as much as she loves being up in the mountains — both are essential to her contentment and well-being.

Also, today is her birthday:

Happy Birthday, Mum! I love you always, and I treasure getting to spend this amazing time with you while we live in Hawaii!

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Project 365: The Last Days of Vacation Triptych.

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#210: Packing.

The piles I had created and been living out of now needed to return to the confines of the suitcase… However, I was slightly concerned because I had bought several items while on vacation, and not gotten rid of anything. The tight fit coming over was going to be even tighter, I assumed.

Strangely, once I had most things packed, it seemed as if there was even more room left than I had started with. The worry that I had overlooked something was reassured, however, once I packed the rest of the last-minute items. Zippers straining to their fullest, I knew I had managed to fit everything I came with, and then some.

 

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#211: Dinner.

My last night in Washington state, I had dinner out with a friend. I wanted to go back to the French Bakery and try the other crepe on the menu that had caught my eye: filled with pears and drizzled with caramel and whipped cream.

Really, it was more dessert than dinner, but if you can’t treat yourself and bend the rules on vacation, when can you? And of course, it was completely delicious!

 

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#212: Flight.

A foggy morning at SeaTac airport, waiting for my flight. I had been patted down and had my carry-on suitcase riffled through in security, but at least the two TSA doing it were both nice, and afterward let me take my time to get everything back together.

It was sad leaving my friends — old and new — behind, and head back to the familiar routine of life in Hawaii. But I know that good things are waiting for me on the island, and meanwhile I’m grateful to have so many wonderful memories of my time on the mainland.

Life continues on, and I want to soak up and enjoy every second!

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Project 365, #33: Lava Tube. And bonus pictures. Lots of bonus pictures…

Okay, Let me just say first that this isn’t really a photo update so much as it is a mini photo-documentary…. You’ve been warned.

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We enter the lava tube, looking back on the last daylight we’ll see for the next two hours… The Adventure has begun…

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Without flash, just lit by my penlight. It is utter darkness, and the nature of the tube deadens all sounds. We can’t hear anything but each other and drip-drip of water from the roof after we’ve rounded the first bend, and even our voices seem oddly muffled since they have no echo.

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My camera’s flash reveals the reds and blacks and greys of the cooled lava, and the almost glowing white of the strange fungus that grows on it.

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We discover insect life in the darkness…

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Between scrambles over piled rock and squeezes through low tunnels, the tube opens up into more cavernous spaces.

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This journey could well be a gateway between worlds… We follow the arrow hopefully…

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The roots of the trees above reach down, wet and muddy, like grasping tentacles seeking nutrients, brushing across our faces as we traverse the darkness.

(Honestly, it wasn’t as creepy as it sounds! Well, unless you think about it like that at the time…)

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“Keep on going. We are.”

An encouraging message indeed, and timely as we grow nearer to the end of our journey.

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Inevitably, we reach the light at the end of the tunnel… Someone kindly had removed one of the middle bars, so we could escape back into daylight without having to retrace our steps.

We all felt very proud of ourselves for having completed the Adventure. And we began counting our bruises and scrapes, and finding mud in unexpected places…

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Project 365, #31: Druidry.

Before I start this post, let me first say: I made it through the first month! One down, eleven to go! Woo-hoo!

Now on, to Druidry…

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This is everything I’ve been sent — apart from flyers for various gathering that I couldn’t attend — since I joined the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids over a year ago. This is all the material for the Bardic course, which is the first level of the OBOD. I’m over halfway through now, and have come to a point of reflecting back on the journey so far.

The OBOD is based out of England, with members via the correspondence course throughout the world. I first discovered them — about five years ago, I believe — through their podcast “Druidcast”, hosted by Damh the Bard. As soon as I listened to it and heard about the history of the Order and the music and the poetry and the prose that filled a magical half-hour, I felt a spiritual homecoming.

I was unintentionally raised pagan; unintentionally only in that we didn’t have a label for what we were, or what we believed and did. The values my family taught me were deep respect and love and responsibility towards nature and the natural world and to see ourselves as being part of it, to strive to live in partnership with it. Our church was the forest, our medicine were plants, our communion was time in the garden or time with the animals of our farm. The trees and the stars and the moon and the sun and the earth and the sky and the water and the animals, all of these were divine and sacred and a gift to us to cherish and accept and be a part of, and we were sacred too because we were part of it, and we were thankful and appreciative of the gifts the land bestowed on us, and we worked hard for them.

I felt the philosophies of Druidry were a natural extension of how I was raised, as was being a hedge-witch and kitchen-witch and wise woman and healer. Being trained in massage is an extension of it, as is the South Koren Natural Farming Method my parents use to raise much of our food, and the Paleo and Nourishing Traditions diets we incorporated into our eating habits.

Exploring the teachings of the Order has helped me greatly, especially over all the changes I’ve undergone in the last year. A year ago I was living in a different state, far from my family, feeling trapped and isolated and helpless in a toxic living situation, with a serious relationship that was slowing smothering me, and no joy in where I was working. A year ago I couldn’t have imagined the bright life I have now, the energy and strength and confidence I’ve gained, the projects and goals I tackle, the enthusiasm and plans for the future I’ll create. Even my parents have commented on how much I’ve changed and grown since I’ve come back to my island home.

Hawaii, the Big Island especially, is a healing place; one where the Elements and the Land are alive and present. It’s a new land — still being formed in places — and has all the bursting energy of the creation/destruction cycle. And because of that, unlikely a place as it may seem to an outsider, it’s been a wonderful place for me to explore my path in Druidry.

I leave you now with one more bonus picture:

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These are the gwersu, the lessons, that I have completed. Laid out like this makes me think of them as waves…carrying me out of the darkness and into a rebirth of light and knowledge…

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Project 365, #11: Backyard.

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This is the view from my backyard on a clear day.

The mountain you see is called Mauna Kea. Those white dots on the top of the mountain are international observatories. Both are very awesome and interesting, and you should definitely look them up online, and then visit them in person. It’s totally worth it.

The dark dots in the sky are quite possibly doves, or else some other kind of bird. I didn’t even realize they were in the shot when I took it. Doves are most likely, as Hawaii has a rather large dove population, like pigeons on the mainland (“Mainland” is Island-shorthand for the continental United States).

The two tall trees are native Ohia. Their blossoms, when they have them, are red, and called Lehua. There are ancient Hawaiian legends about both tree and blossom, which you can also find online.

This morning and most of the day it was blue skies and sunny. As I drove home, the clouds were gathering. And now, when I’m about to go to bed, I can hear the pouring tropical rain. Welcome to Hawaii.

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