Driving home last night, beneath the clear white moon, heater on in the car to ward off the chill, crossing the Wailua Bridge where the men are working nights, the flagmen barely visible in the darkness, I was aware of their vulnerability, and also of the vulnerability of that special place.
I ran into Waldeen Palmeira the other day and she said the feds had met with Hawaiians who are objecting to both the Wailua project and its process, and the feds agreed to a consultation “at the very highest level,” whatever/whomever that means. Most likely, we agreed, it means nothing, but is instead a way to buy time, pacify critics, because meanwhile, the work goes on, without an EIS.
And I was reminded of how so often that’s the case, where procedural challenges continue, complaints are lodged, lawsuits are filed, but still, the work goes on, so even if folks ultimately prevail in the end, much of the damage is already done. That same scenario is played out over and over and over again. But the system will let you bang your head against its walls and try to convince you it's a fair and reasonable process.
A restless night, full moon bright through the skylight, streaming in the windows, then blotted out by heavy rain that dimmed the first light of dawn and delayed our walk. But when we went out, oh, it was heavenly, with shards of orange and scarlet and soft pink and hot pink all mixed up on a lavender backdrop.
Rainbow shafts shot up from Makaleha, which was streaming with waterfalls, and Haupu, which was being drenched by a squall, and Waialeale was wrapped in these strangely yellow clouds that gave it an especially ethereal feel.
When the wind blew, droplets of rain flew off the tree branches, creating a fine mist that was backlit by the sun, forming a zillion sparkling diamonds, the kind of treasure that can’t be piled up in the bank or used for legal tender, and yet is priceless, immeasurably valuable — the only thing, really, that counts for much in the end.
Then the sun climbed a bit higher and the light flattened out and the color drained from the clouds and it was a grayish morning and I was aware of how fleeting it is, and how important it is to cherish it all and take nothing for granted and get out in it every possible chance.
And I wondered, is it really possible to take a Bobcat into Kalalau and blast rocks off the cliffs and cart them around and park a container on the beach and yet “have no substantial environmental or ecological effect in Kalalau?”