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.

4 responses to “A Lesson from Hawaii

  1. How hard it must be for you to be so far away from it every day. Hawaii is magical to me, although I’ve only vacationed there. One morning before we had to leave the big island, I went down before sunrise to the beach – a short walk. It was drizzling very lightly, and I was alone except for a sole jogger who thudded past. Then I sat on a lounge and looked out to sea. I had what can only be described as a religious experience, if my religion is cosmic wholeness. I stopped feeling responsible for the earth turning, you might say. As Atlas, I shrugged. I saw myself as inadequate, and it was fine. I wrote about this in my novel, Dakota Blues – gave the vision to my character, Karen. Thanks for reminding me of the beauty of the islands. Lovely pic.

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  2. Lynne,
    love your parallel experience…the majestic beauty of our world; the place where cultural crossroad meet; Hawaii’s gift…thanks for your comment!

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  3. What a beautiful word – aloha. I had no idea of its richness, of the blessings it imparts.

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  4. Mahola to my ohana, many thanks to my “tribe”

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