I flew yesterday from the brown of Colorado back to the gray of Seattle, where domed and snow-covered Mt. Rainier appeared as the classic baked Alaska dessert, floating on a bed of clouds, with one drifting up to form a halo above the summit. Not too many swimming pools in the backyards of homes in that city, but there is a nice greenbelt that runs through the center.
From the air, and walking through airports, it's easy — and kind of shocking — to see how much land and how many resources are devoted to moving folks around.
Then it was on the emerald balminess of Kauai, treasured both as home and for the gem that she is. A joyous reunion with Koko tempered the sadness I felt at having my Mom and one of my favorite sisters so far away.
We stopped at Opaekaa Falls on the way to my house and listened to the roar of rushing water as the waxing moon somehow interacted with Pleiades and Orion to create light rays shooting up from Nounou.
I recalled the words of the ticket agent in Denver, when he looked at my boarding pass and driver’s license and said, oh, you live there. What a pleasant life that must be, all by yourself in the middle of the Pacific, a separate little world.
And it is, and it’s a marvelous one, despite the flotsam and jetsam — human and otherwise — that regularly washes up on her shores, and then is cast adrift again. Though some who are unevolved, or jealous, may characterize living here as “hiding out,” I see Kauai as being the center of the universe — separate, but very much connected, kind of like the chamber in the bee hive where the queen lives, protected, yet tuned in.
Kauai’s ancient names — Kamawailualanimoku, among them — speak to that standing, though they aren’t used often because it’s so much more convenient, when raping and pillaging the `aina, to pretend that this is just a meaningless chunk of old basalt.
While traveling, I was reading and editing a manuscript on the Alakai and the author made a reference to how Hawaiians considered mountains to be sacred, a connection I explored in a piece I wrote about the mists of Kokee . Other indigenous cultures also revered high places, both because of their proximity to the stars and the most far off distant places, and the role they play in generating water. It seems to make sense to me to cherish the landforms and natural resources that perpetuate life,and when you come right down to it, they all do, for one creature or another.
The question now before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether to perpetuate the status quo in the form of colonialism and appropriation of lands rightfully owned by the indigenous people of this land, or to perpetuate the Hawaiian nation by preserving the land that the state is supposed to be holding in trust until there’s a settlement of the sovereignty issue. The state’s briefs in the case are due today, as Charley Foster noted on Planet Kauai, so it should be interesting to see what kind of arguments they come up with to counter the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling.
Still, can anyone really expect justice from the highest court of the nation that did the taking in the first place? Especially when it's got so many members appointed by an imperialist like Bush.
On the local front, there’s a meeting at 7 tonight at the Lydgate Park main pavilion on the next leg of The Path, which calls for building a boardwalk along the sand and dunes of Wailua Beach. What kind of harebrained idea is that, on a windward coast prone to erosion? Alternatives are going mauka of the highway, fronting the Coco Palms, or following a tree-shaded, one lane road along the Wailua Drainage Canal behind Coco Palms.
If we can't stop the Path, let’s at least put infrastructure along already existing roads and in developed areas, so we can keep our beaches naturally.