All posts tagged: Nostalgia

$12 Mullet

My first real life lesson was balancing meager finances and spending priorities, which happened at the tender age of 13. It was my first year boarding at Kamehameha and I was ecstatic to be off Kauaʻi, away from the prying eyes and attention of family. If you grew up on a neighbor island back in the day, you may be able to relate when I say that being on Oʻahu made you think you could pretty much do anything. Kinda like Vegas, but whatever you did would eventually find its way back home by the end of the week via the coconut wireless. It might’ve been the anonymity of living in a sea of unknowns or the fact that anything I ever wanted, or didn’t know I wanted, was conveniently available, but that along with my newfound freedom was exhilarating. I began to think that because I could wash my own clothes, I was probably capable of making decisions for myself too. Despite my developing confidence from living “on my own”, I felt there was very …

Revisiting Keahualaka

I am on a journey of spiritual rediscovery with Kauaʻi. My childhood was filled with camping trips at Māhāʻulepū, going on long hikes through Kōkeʻe, and exploring the abandoned cane field roads behind my house in ʻŌmaʻo. It was a time filled with wonder and a developing kinship with the sands that raised me. Becoming a practitioner of hula, I now see Kauaʻi in a very different light, through a cultural lens that I hadn’t developed when I lived there as a child. Kauaʻi is an old island, not just geologically, but mythically. Below its thick and glossy image as a tourist destination, before even the rich local culture developed out of the plantation lifestyle, Kauaʻi is the backdrop to many of the traditional staples of hula and oli. It is home to mystical places and magical events in Hawaiian mythology, particularly those related to Pele and her ʻohana. I went home to Kaua’i this past weekend and made it a point to visit Keahualaka. The heiau is literally translated to “the shrine of Laka” and holds …

Lessons in the Aisles of Longs

Inspired by a Sunday visit to Longs, after a stampede left me in the dust to load carts up with what was listed in the new sale paper of the week. 1) Be flexible in life, yet sturdy in your convictions, like a pair of jeans with elastic waistbands. You’ll always be comfortable and in timeless fashion. 2) Striking up spontaneous conversations with strangers is a completely acceptable form of community building. Especially when the person you’re talking to passes on valuable cooking/baking tips and product recommendations. 3) Being told you remind someone of their relative (sister, cousin, nephew, granddaughter, best friend) is a compliment. People don’t usually tell others that by looking at them, they’re reminded of someone they can’t stand. 4) Let people behind you with a few items go ahead of you at the checkout and return your wagon when you’re done unloading. It’s just the right thing to do. 5) Smile at people with your eyes and mean it. It makes everyone feel comfortable. Besides, smiling without your eyes just looks …