Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Samoa La'u Pele


Though I've never lived there
It is the land from which my mother and her ancestors sprang from
Her ancestors are my ancestors
Her loss is my loss
May love, unconditional, surround the people of Samoa

Samoa, e pele oe i si ou fatu
O le a ea se mea e ao ona fai
E tautua ai mo oe
O sasae ma sisifo e tasi
O le viiga lea i le lagi
Aiga ma nuu taitasi
Tuu mai lou aao
Ta pepese faatasi


Monday, September 28, 2009

Homesick For HOME

I made it across the continent. We picked up our car this past Friday in Oakland, California and drove cross-country and made it to Alabama just today. I am utterly HOMESICK this evening. I am so longing for the comforts of my island. Everything is so vast, so large, so wide here and there's no ocean in sight. I don't remember feeling this alone recently! I had to have been 4 or 5 the last time I felt like this. My parents had a little "situation" last night and that doesn't help the turmoil inside me. This move was so very hard. I have struggled every day since my husband first told me that we were making this move.

If we had stayed in Hawai'i, then he would be miserable. Here we are in Alabama and I'm miserable. I'm trying really hard to have a positive attitude. It hasn't even been 12 hours. **heavy sigh** I can't even put my finger on what exactly is causing me so much grief. I want to go home but my husband deserves happiness also. Husband never wants to return to Hawai'i to live. He's okay with visiting but not living there. I don't know what to make of that because I've always had it in my head that that is where I would spend all of my days.

Tomorrow has to be better than right now. Please let me find joy again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Last Day @ Work... for now

Wednesday, the 16th is the last day of work for me at this particular job. I work for a private university that is affiliated with a specific religion. As my days with this particular employer are coming to an end, I feel a small sense of relief and sadness at the same time. There are many factors that contribute to the mixed feelings.

The freedom of being jobless is so appealing to me. That is where most of my sense of relief comes from. I think about all the responsibilities that I get to relinquish and it is sooooooo FREE-ING! I'm ready to start a new chapter in my life. I'm excited to prepare for this upcoming cross country road trip. I'm hoping to cross America on I-40 rather than I-70 but that is for another post.

Ironically, letting go of the responsibilities that have been mine for the past three years is no small feat, especially when I have no one to train in my stead. I worry about how the department will survive without someone making sure the department gets paid (which is/was my primary responsibility). I worry about my student workers who are so dear to me. Well, at least some of them. I wonder if my boss will be gentle with them instead of a big, grumpy lion.

Well, whatever! I'm experiencing mixed feelings because, well, it's just human nature.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brilliant Sunrise

I am so amazed at the grandeur of the Creator's universe. Brilliant shades of orange and pink are always a welcome sight to wake to. The entire view takes my breath away.
This picture was taken in Hau'ula, right near the intersection of Kamehameha Highway and Kukuna Road. Absolutely gorgeous. I've been taking so many pictures of all the gorgeous landscapes in Hawai'i. I am confident that fate will return me to the shores of my birth. I know that I will see this gorgeousness again. In the meantime, while I'm away from the land that I love, I have these pictures to fill my emptiness.
I know I will see gorgeous landscapes wherever I travel but the spirit of this land, the sadness in the songs of the birds, the weeping of the tree's, the sense of longing of my people will always beckon me back to these shores.
This is the view from my parent's driveway. I am so grateful to have witnessed such absolute beauty. This is the Hawai'i of my memory!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Temporary Photo Blog

Today I attended a work retreat. It was ABSOLUTELY magical. It really was. Maybe it's because my time in Hawai'i is ticking away that I'm so sentimental. Actually, Hawai'i is very beautiful, coupled with the sentiment I was an emotional mess. Also included in the retreat was a lei presentation with two boxes of chocolate and a thank you speech from my two bosses.

I am so blessed to have spent my day tooling around the Ko'olauloa mountain range in the Hakipu'u valley. I wish we had more of those. Once a year is pretty boring. Twice a year would be fabulous, aside from the regular Christmas parties. Anyway, I was glad that today was spent in the mountains of my birth.

This was the view from my seat during the motivational, goal-sharing portion of the retreat. It was actually very good. I enjoyed it. Last years retreat was spent in a board room, on-campus. So, to have this view was a special treat. I'm sad to leave the university I work for but the money is just not enough anymore, especially for the amount of responsibility that is heaped upon my shoulders. I just looked up jobs in the area that I will be relocating to and they pay at least $10,000 more for the same approximate job AND the cost of living is half what it is here.

I absolutely love this gorgeous view. One day when I begin painting oil on canvas, this will be one of my subjects. I love how the colors of the land masses jutting into the ocean fades, the further it gets. Just gorgeous!

Another shot of Mokoli'i. The folklore of Hawai'i points to this being the tail of a great lizard. The mountain range is his body.

I think old trees are such miracles. They tell such sad stories today, ever longing for the glory of more simpler times when man and nature worked together. In the ridiculous world of capitalism, we have departed from the laws of nature.... but that is for another blog post.

The limbs of this tree is so gorgeous. I love the way it branches out and looks so similar to the veins in the human body. The green canopy that the limbs support are a soothing sight.

The tree is so majestic. The meeting part of our retreat was held in this building. It was so cozy and quaint with a corrugated tin roof. I'm going to miss this so much. When I return to visit, I'll just be a visitor, afraid to really fall in love with my islands again because I know I have to leave it. My heart is here. When I die, may my ashes be scattered on the waters of my birth and carried on the winds of Hawai'i.

This is a classic picture that can be found all across the South Pacific. Coconut trees are so beautiful and so abundant in the tropic region.

I love the way this tall coconut palm leans over the fish pond.

Another view that I enjoyed from my seat in our meeting. What kind of nature views are in store for me in Alabama?

This sweeping valley is the one featured on several films including, Jurassic Park, Mighty Joe Young, George of the Jungle, Windtalkers, etc.

Why am I leaving Paradise? That is the QUESTION!!