November in Hilo

It's Saturday evening and the chickens are out for their nightly forage. The neighboring roosters are crowing out of jealousy or hunger or loneliness, chained to their a-frame shelters. Nala girl stares through me, her eyes are bottomless pools of caramel. I think she is the most perfect creature I have ever met. 

It's Sunday and the sky is bright blue and littered with cotton ball clouds. I am surrounded by young coconut palms and I am mesmerized by lines and light and color. Later, mom and I will go for a long ocean swim, out of the reef and into deep water. We will see multiple sea turtles surfing in the waves and we won't know that it's our last sunny day.

It's Wednesday and for the second afternoon in a row I'm tied to a roof documenting a module installation for my dad's company. It's starting to drizzle, and I keep having to wipe the raindrops from my lens.  

It's Thursday and the table is set. There is too much food. We invited three adults and two children to join our table, but failed to tell them how many people there would be, so they brought enough for an army. We will eat leftovers for days.

It's Friday at noon. It's been raining all morning and I had to postpone a photo shoot for the second time. I'm up the road visiting the brand new baby sheep we saw on our Thanksgiving walk. Surprisingly, the mama comes right up to me when I call her, and her little black lamb bounces along beside her. On my walk back home I will find a perfectly ripe avocado on the ground that we will enjoy in our salad for dinner. 

It's Friday evening, and I'm outside the fence admiring how the light catches and dances off water droplets. Mochi kitty comes running out to join me. He has proven to be my most challenging subject. Every time I get down at his level he runs to me for loving. I discover that if I put him on the fence it buys me some time. His eyes are the same green as the ginger. 

sunrise from Mauna Kea

It's Sunday morning, 6:20 am and we're up above the clouds at the Mauna Kea summit. At 13,000 feet the horizon is apricot colored fading to blue, both getting brighter as our spot on earth rotates closer to the sun. It's below freezing and the wind is blowing. I can't feel my hands, and the Japanese tourists are hopping around in their orange snowsuits, trying to stay warm. The shadow of the volcano is printed on the candy-colored clouds to the west. I slip into the car and pour myself a mug of Earl Grey hot chocolate and warm my fingers and my lips. We will later go out for pancakes.

It's Sunday afternoon, and mom and I have finished the quilt top to my new quilt. We designed and sewed for four days while it rained and rained and now it's spread out on the dining table full of safety pins waiting to be quilted. Nala is cowering under the table because she knows her days with me around are numbered.

It's Sunday evening and we're taking Nala out for her walk. I have to run back for my camera because the sky is putting on a show. A lot of water has fallen during my visit, but when it isn't raining the sky is doing spectacular things. All that rain makes you appreciate the relief even more, and I revel in its beauty. 

It's Monday morning and my flight leaves in a few hours. I am rejuvenated. I walked Nala every day. I spent quality one on one time with my parents. I photographed four families, I reconnected with an old friend, and I made plans for my next visit. I feel really lucky and happy and grateful and excited for what's to come.