Hawai’i unsettles

Hawai’i constantly unmoors me.

Just when I think I have Hawai’i figured out with its swaying palms, I find myself surrounded by that most PNW of trees, the pine. Our home is in the middle of a hundred pines, interspersed with only the occasional palm tree. The piney smell hits me every time I step out my door. It feels like my Idahome and yet definitely not my Idahome.

The sun setting behind the Koolaus throws this brilliant sun sheet over the jagged edges that sometimes collects and pools in the lush nooks and crannies. Light pours down the crags and valleys like water.

Coming upon Waimanalo is like walking up to it for the first time. Its bigness and colors. That perfectly fine sand. It takes an hour for me to even want to pull out my book because I am so content sitting and watching the waves.

The Albizia trees that make me do a double-take. Am I in South Africa or Hawai’i??

The instant calm I get when I take my SUP out on the water. It’s like my anxiety disperses with the waters. (But collects again once I make land.)

The sea turtles that I can’t help but shriek about every time I see one. They are majestic and adorable all at once. How are they not scared of us?

The brazen monk seals and their big ol’ slick and furry puppy bodies, bouncing up from the waves to nap on the beach. They DGAF and it shows.

Sharks not pictured because I get so excited I can’t even take photos.

Seeing sharks swim by me, accepting me as part of their underwater world. I shouldn’t be able to be here, yet I am.

I don’t think I’ll ever feel “settled” in Hawai’i, but it is in part because Hawai’i is flush with abundant wonder. Wonder always keeps us off-center, disrupts what we feel we know and are. My soul feeds on this wonder, so I can be content.

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