It had been a long time since I walked beneath the stars, and I missed them. So I got up when I first awoke, because I could tell from the chill in the house that the skies were clear, and Koko and I set out under that silvery light.
We snuck past the two boxers chained in their front yard, so as not to set off any wild barking, and the only sounds were roosters crowing, crickets chirping, and in the ditch by the pasture, bullfrogs wheezing.
I saw two stars fall, one in the north, the other in the south, and Waialeale naked, with a crown of stars. Venus first watched my back, then guided my return, and Orion’s belt cinched the end of an S-shaped constellation.
And when I got home an hour later, with the sky just starting to lighten, it was all so exquisite that I drank a glass of water and went out and walked all over again.
This time, only Venus remained, although it quickly lost ground as dawn washed out the sky. The bullfrogs, roosters and crickets were joined by birds that always wake up singing, and Waialeale had donned a jaunty cloud beret.
Koko exchanged greetings with a truck full of hunting dogs, and they continued the conversation in their deep, baying voices for a little ways down the road, until I heard their owner, the driver, yell out “quiet!” and they were.
The rising sun turned its pathway coral pink, illuminating the Sleeping Giant, and when we turned into the yard, again, my heart was doubly full of glad, and my legs were cold and tired.
This is what I love about Kauai, although it’s not unique to here, any more than the red ohia lehua I found at the crest of the trail yesterday, or the four hinano blooming, muskily, on the ancient hala tree at the channel where I later went to swim, or the monk seal that was snoozing, lifting a flipper occasionally to brush away flies, on rough-grained sand at the end of the beach.
Nor do we have a monopoly on really nice people, like the big brudda with a diamond stud in his right ear and awesome tattoos on his left arm, who heard me pop the hood of my car outside Ace Hardware, and figured I might need help, so the next thing I know he’s lifting the hood and pouring in the motor oil I’d bought and a perfect stranger became Irv.
The good stuff is everywhere out there, if we just open our hearts, eyes, ears.
I have a friend in Portland who is an author and an editor, and he emailed me the contents of a piece of paper he found inside his pocket, remnants of a meeting with my favorite poet, Mary Oliver:
“I am learning to stand still and be astonished.”
“Attention without feeling is only a report.”
“I say to my heart, rave on. “
They started out as her words, and are now all of ours.
I have another friend here on Kauai, who is a good surfer, both of ocean waves and the net, and he sent me this link to WorkBoat.com with an excerpt from the piece — "There's some speculation that the ferries will be sold to the military for the new Joint High Speed Vessel project..." — and his own comment: “now where in the whirled did he get that?”
The author (not the surfer) apparently took a couple of rides on the Superferry, which he managed to sandwich in between the ferry’s down times, and noted: “On both trips, there were fewer than 50 vehicles and under 100 passengers. (At about 2,000 gallons of fuel per hour for three hours each way, our carbon footprints must have been huge.)”
He also mentioned that a judge had ordered the state and Hawaii Superferry to pay $100,000 in legal fees to Isaac Hall for that four-week court hearing last year, the results of which were overturned by the Lege. (My own note: Deputy Attorney General William Wynhoff is still whining that the award is unfair.)
The writer goes on to note that “Many Alaskans would like to tie up or sell their two fast vehicle ferries, too. Ever since their introduction a few years ago, these controversial boats have been plagued with problems and plans to add more have been dropped.”
And he recounts the troubles — outlined in this blog last year — by both the Rochester-Toronto service and BC Ferries. “Selling failed fast vehicle ferries isn't easy,” he says.
Nor, it seems, is running them at a profit, or even keeping them running at all.
Meanwhile, the EIS process creeps forward. The March meetings I mentioned in yesterday’s post are the first step in the state-financed review, and intended to apprise folks on what is planned for the process, including issues to be studied and a proposed schedule. I’ll keep you posted as the dates near.
Until then, as a much-appreciated comment on yesterday’s post noted: “Happiness, the brightest of lights, share it others.”
Yes, hearts, rave on.