Heading south from Kohala to Kona, cruising in our van that arrived the day before. A big bit of familiar, it rattles me and there go my tears again. Leaving Hawi, our new little town that graces the North tip of the island, the rolling hills adorned with trees sway in the Kohala breeze, and my view opens up to the majestic Pacific, a strong blue horizon and white clouds in the sky. Listening to Braddah Iz, my heart has ached with homesick melodies, vivid pictures of what I’ve left makes me so raw. Such a rich community of people and friends and mentors and ohana. True ones, who inspire me. So many are my heroes and they don’t even know it. I realize I’ve been caught up in my own misery and craziness I wonder if I ever told them…
Green landscape and kiawe trees, white spots dot the ocean from the strong wind, and here I am, far away, in another world. I’ve been shut down, withdrawn and in survival mode. I think we are on week 11 of this journey. We arrived, weary travelers, with the warmest welcome from our ohana on our coffee land home. My heart needed the nurturing. So much behind us and yet so much still lay ahead, an empty house to make into a home. We started with beds, a few days later a couch, just so thankful to sit. A week after that, a dining table. Pure joy to sit and eat, especially since this is Hawaii and the crumbs of kids walking around was stressing me out!
The green shifts to a rocky desert, dry grasses and more kiawe. I wrestle with my first world problems. The boys watch a movie and the missy naps as I make my way on the curve of the island and the view opens up. The Kohala mountains, layered with shades of green, Mauna Kea ( one of the tallest in the world from sea level), Mauna Loa, and Hualalai all come in to view at the same time, a proud display of the islands size and stature. Something really big must be brewing, my mind wanders in and out of the past weeks of this crazy journey. We’ve been through so much. It felt like such a fight. I still can’t believe we are here, yet it’s so real like a slap in the face how different my life is. This has been one of the hardest transitions ever for me. I have been fumbling and failing, daily. Figuring out life without my kitchen and homeschool setup, unable to nurture my family with ease. Those are what make me ME. And they aren’t up and running yet.
Passing Kawaihae harbor and the terrain turns to a black sea of lava. Different shades of chocolate drip down from the slopes, revealing unique flows from the past. Resorts line the highway, palm trees popping out of the lava, and the sea calms. Jack croons about banana pancakes and I breathe. My spirit has longed for the feeling of home. Living without my “home” has wrecked me. I am such a homebody. Another shift in the landscape and a flicker of something deep in my soul. This island, made up of so many climates, quilted patches of different colors that you can literally drive through. The raw beauty of watching life grow and change before your eyes. From a black sea of rock to some grasses and trees springing up. I realize I am not too far gone. There is a new life happening and there is potential for beauty.
Driving past all my favorite beaches my mind and emotions wrestle. It’s a gorgeous day. Somehow along the way I lost my Joy. My eyes tear up again, and I pray and ask God for it to return. If you know me, you know I struggle with arthritis pain all over and when I’m hurting like I have been, everything is life is made a bit harder. I fight for Joy. Brings me to the basics of being Thankful for such little things.
Plumerias and bouganvilleas line the highway, almost to Kona. A quick stop to wash the layers of salt off our van, “Gracie,” from her barge ride from Honolulu. Returning the rental car and it’s official, we are driving as a family in our car. Heading to Keiki ponds, for some fun time with the kids. A protected ocean pool, the waves break over a giant lava reef and tidepools surround this little beach spot. A picnic lunch, kids swimming, and a shift into relax mode. Trying to be an anchor for my kids when our whole life was turned upside down made me realize I cannot be everything to them. God has to cover where I leave off. This Trust journey. It’s been so big.
Giggles and sandy toes, sea slugs and pirate booty. The weary, the stress, so much letting go. The ocean is warm, the sun feels so good. For some reason we are supposed to be here. I knew I was supposed to go. I just wasn’t quite ready, and I wonder why the struggle has felt larger than I can handle. I am weak. But that’s ok to admit.
A hot walk back to the car, quick stop at Costco for gas and a few things. A call from Kohala – our boxes have come! The post office closes at 4 and it’s 2:55. An hour drive home, but we are hoping to make it. There’s life in me, deep down, hope resides. A deep well, a safe place, and I nestle in, facing all my faults and mistakes and everything that I may never be. Another movie and my Kale’a naps again. Heading north through the lava fields and resorts, clear horizon for awhile and welcomed back with rainbows and warm sprinkles. Unpacked boxes, family pictures, giant teddy bears, and legos. My mixer, pampered chef stoneware and my special mug from one of my favorites have all made it.
I pause and look at my shattered vintage pineapple cookie jar. A wedding gift to my parents, from Hawaii. One of my favorite things ever, didn’t make it. I was broken like that Pineapple. Josh is going to glue it for me. It will have even more of a special story and character. God is going to put me back together. Maybe I will get some of the same. Curtains up, baby’s crib put together with her bedding from back home. She is so happy with this familiar and I cry. Little by Little, this cottage will be turned into a home. This is bigger than a new chapter in our lives. It is a new book. And Home is where our story begins.