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