Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May day is lei day in Hawaii

Here I am late again, but better late than never. May came in windy and cool and I spent it at the nursery picking out plants for the "other garden". What a pleasure to be able to pick whatever I fancied without looking at the price and then deciding if I wanted it or not. In less than 2 hours time I spent $1,000 dollars. I still have another dozen shrubs to find somewhere else. I have a half a dozen excellent nurseries within 10 miles of me so that shouldn't be a problem. It's rained the past two days, tomorrow I will lay out the garden for planting.
Today was almost over before I realized it was May Day which is Lei day in Hawaii. In the weeks and days leading up to may day lei makers all over the state are gearing up for the days festivities, which focus around the lei, symbol of love and friendship. Even though I am 10 years removed from my island home I have continued to make leis. This year for the first time I didn't, which brings me to my list of the things I miss most about Hawaii.
1. My best friend Deb. We are the same age, she is also originally from California. We have very common history and experiences. With the exception of my brother Ron, I think she understands who I am and why I am that way, more than anyone else just because of our age and having grown up in the 60's California culture. She is like my sister, and I love and miss her more than words can say. My daughter Naomi says that we have sound alike and use the same expressions. Holy mackerel!

2. Flowers and more specifically, leis. I had plumeria,jasmine,stephanotis,gardenia, pua pua kini in my garden and oh the scent of them. The joy of picking and stringing them,laying one upon a friends shoulders. Kauai's lei is Maile and Mokihana, neither flowers. One is a vine the other buds on a branch of forest trees. Both smell faintly anise like and they are my favorite. My ex husband brought maile leis when our daughter graduated from high school. I wore mine for 3 days and now almost a year later I still can smell it when I rub the dried leaves between my fingers. When Naomi was little she learned this song "maile lei ,flower lei wear this lei on this occasion. Flowers bloom, lovers too, beautiful maile lei, beautiful maile lei.

3.The sandy beach of Hanalei Bay, I could wax poetic for hours on the beauty of Hanlei. When I first sailed to Hawaii we spent almost 2 months at anchor in Hanalei. When I am sad I imagine myself floating on my back in the warm shallows at the pavilion, hearing the swishing sound of the sand moving with the current and watching the clouds slowly pass overhead.

4.Beach combing, there really aren't many good beaches for collecting shells on Kauai, the reefs and the waves break most before they make it to shore, but you can find wonderful treasures. Perfect tiny shells, beach glass,driftwood, even coral. Another song Naomi would sing and also hula to me
"Pearly shells, from the ocean, covering the shore, shining in the sun, when I see them ,my heart tells me ,I love you more than all those pearly shells.

5.Hamura's Saimin and Kilauea bakery & Pau Hana Pizza. If you go to Kauai you must have a big bowl of Hamura's saimin in Lihue... True local food long silky noodles in a light broth with bits of green onions and char sui sprinkled on top, locals like it with hard boiled eggs , I preferred added vegetables and maybe a wonton or two. Yum! Pau Hana Pizza is in Kilauea and is owned by Tom and Katie Pickett. They make the best artisan breads, bagels and pastries and later in the day, Pizza of all kinds traditional and very untraditional. what I wouldn't give for a kalamata bialy or a mighty thistle pizza.

What do you miss about your former home?

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