Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Lesson from Hawaii

I grew up in Hawaii.  Just out of college I wanted to travel, to take the trip that had been waiting.  A college roommate who was visiting Hawaii wanted me to join her for the summer.   I was so ready to travel I missed my sister’s wedding. Hawaii was a tropical paradise in the Pacific known for its beauty of lush palm trees and waterfalls.   At the time there were small cottage hotels nestled along the beach of Waikiki.  I arrived.  The summer days played out walking to the beach, stretching out on a grass mat to bathe in the sun, splashing in the surf and dancing in the evening with a shoreline studded like diamonds with the moon’s reflection.   My adventure felt magical.  The summertime stay evolved into a decade of my life.   I feel in love, in love the a place, in love with a time, in love with an exotic culture, in love with a guy.  I got married.  I engaged with friends from cultures far different from my background.  I had babies and began to raise a family.  I pursued a career.  I struck out on my own.  In Hawaii I grew up and learned a life’s lesson.

I was brought down to myself.  I knew aloha.  I understood.  I found the meaning, the interpretation of the most widely known word in the Hawaiian language–aloha.

  • A stands for akaha’i, meaning kindness, tenderness.
  •  L stands for lokahi, meaning unity, harmony.
  • O stands for olu’olu, meaning agreeable, pleasantness.
  •  H stands for ha’aha’a, meaning humility, modesty.
  • A stands for ahonu’i, meaning patience, perseverance.

The philosophy expressed in aloha with all the charm, warmth and sincerity of the Hawaiian people is one I strive to keep mindful.  May I always have aloha.  My adopted homeland, I’m still in love with you.