Hawaii, Circa 1980s, Putnam Style

Whenever I travel to Maui, I feel at home. Even though this place changes in little ways each year, the essence feels the same to me.  Today as I was swimming my way back from Black Rock to the front of our hotel, I noticed a little memory tug in my body. I recalled how, as a little child, my parents would place me in a little pink tug boat inner tube with leg holes and I would float around the ocean as they swam nearby. What a contrast to seeing a little boy with a harness around his chest, being  reined in on a leash the other day at Napili Bay.

Mostly, though, my memories drifted through my heart and touched upon my father, who would have been 67 this last year, who would have loved that I married Walter, who would have called me on our first day here and asked me, “Did you jump in the ocean right away?” and I would have said, “Yes dad, yes I did!” Ah goodness, to say “Dad” — what a gift in and of itself.

I feel both nostalgia and sadness, sweetness and sorrow, as I prepare to leave this poignant, poetic, and soulful island tomorrow.  To honor this special place and to remember my father, I share with you these photographs from Maui, circa 1980s.

HawaiiFamily

Well, this photo was taken prior to my existence, so it was a foursome trip before 1975. My brother Chris is wearing the yellow inner tube and my brother Robb has those great red shorts. My very first trip to Maui was in 1975 when I was in my mother’s womb. I still say that I am so drawn to these Pacific waters because I had a taste of them from inside my mother’s belly.

This was probably taken during a trip in 1980 or 1981, I suspect. My father made me feel so safe.

This was probably taken during a trip in 1980 or 1981, I suspect. My father made me feel so safe.

A family portrait on Pineapple Hill, perhaps taken in 1983 or 1984.

A family portrait on Pineapple Hill, perhaps taken in 1983 or 1984.

My father was the daredevil body surfer in the day. This photo, I am sure was taken at DT Fleming Beach where the waves are known to be high and mighty!

My father was the daredevil body surfer in the day. This photo, I am sure was taken at DT Fleming Beach where the waves are known to be high and mighty!

This is the way I remember my father in Hawaii. I remember his strong back and arms, his groundedness, his playfulness, and his ability to make everything okay.

This is the way I remember my father in Hawaii. I remember his strong back and arms, his groundedness, his playfulness, and his ability to make everything okay.

Ha’o wau ia ‘oe, Dad. Ha’o wau ia ‘oe.

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About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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One Response to Hawaii, Circa 1980s, Putnam Style

  1. inspire1life says:

    Beautiful tribute to your father. Safe travel home.

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