Sunday, November 9, 2008

Morning In Waikiki














Morning is a special time of day wherever you awaken, but gentle Waikiki mornings seem to have a distinct excitement and uniqueness about them every day. Perhaps it is those “first day of vacation” tingles pulsing through the trade winds. Or maybe it’s the poignancy of sunburned, baggage laden visitors yawning at the taxi stand, steeling themselves for the ordeal of returning to…. wherever else. It doesn’t matter where. Those of us in thrall to Waikiki wish them a sad Aloha, with a bit of a happy twinge (truth be told) that it’s not US (!) leaving the magic beach town; or not yet anyway!
Thoughtful Diamond Head shields us from the earlier dawn, letting us sleep in a bit, and Splash the harbor cat stirs in the pink basket of a little girl’s bicycle chained to the rack at the head of G – Dock. Little feline “Radar O’Reilly” will follow her hunger unerringly to a friendly early fisherman, McMuffin sharing tourist, or juicy trash can fish head. Then, satiated and casual, she will patrol the docks, keeping an eye on the Kolea and Java finches feeding on “her” bit of lawn. Then it’s time to snooze again, no doubt under the dark blue canvas of some neighbors covered boat, till it’s time to work for her dinner again, posing for vacation photos, and licking her paw in the afternoon sunlight. No one exactly “owns” Splash, but she has lots of friends, and lots of names, and is clearly too friendly and self possessed to be a feral wild child. She is simply part of the Ala Wai Harbor, part of our community.
Hard working Hilton, Ilikai, and Hawaii Prince workers fill almost every public parking space in the harbor on some days, like the morning tide rolling in, just as the hard working harbor residents leave for their jobs. And Stan the Man, who builds and maintains everything at the Hawaii Yacht Club walks his two miles from home, smoking like a narrow gauge Japanese locomotive, and saying funny-friendly things to everyone that matters as he passes.
Older (or younger!) couples whose very appearance screams: “Maine!” “Ohio!” “Stuttgart!” or “Beloit!” thoughtfully muse upon the tethered boats, and our alluring harbor bulletin boards where boats for sale, and crewing positions to Tahiti, are offered. Till the wife (usually it’s the wife) gets hungry for breakfast at the Harbor Pub and, clutching her discount coupon, drags her husband away from what “might have been” back to whirlwind vacation fun, Waikiki edition: the beach, the bar, the lunch, shopping at Ala Moana Shopping Center, the world’s largest open-air mall, and finally, the bus to the Lu`au. Very few akamai souls will take a customized, really local and personal tour with Papa Al, or get off the beaten path by themselves to experience the wonders of America’s oldest China Town, the royal Iolani Palace, or the historical and breathtaking Pali Lookout. You came this far; so check out the stark and beautiful Ka Iwi coastline, and the lush, tropical Windward Side of our island of O`ahu while you’re here!
Then there are the lucky and blessed folks who simply rest and rejuvenate in the healing sands of Waikiki, this ancient spa favored by the Chiefs, Chiefesses, Kings and Queens of this kingdom by the sea. Very few modern people, I think, fully relax long enough to truly benefit from our medicinal breezes, chanting waves, and rustling palms. But Waikiki waits patiently as always, full of tangible magic for the lucky one who lets everything loose just to listen to the warm, the song of birds, and the laughing voices of children from all over the world playing together. Yes, too few of us surrender to the Lomi Lomi of Waikiki’s healing Mana. Try. . . You’ll like!
Having fallen under that magical spell, a lucky, blessed few of us never leave, like Splash the harbor cat waking to another gentle Waikiki morning. What will there be to eat today? Who will I smile upon or talk with on my slow progress up the beach this afternoon?
I hope that I will awaken here in Waikiki as long as my boat, my mooring permit, my luck, and my body hold up. Each day here is unique in beauty. . . like all the others, just because it opens its petals here in magical Waikiki. So the white doves of Fort DeRussy, Splash the harbor cat, and me, we’ll hold a place for you under the palms, right in front of the Hula Mound.
Till then. . . I’ll be here. . . Walking in Waikiki. . .




Aloha!


You can check out my novel: “Aloha Where You Like Go?” at Isle bookstores and at Amazon.com. MAHALO!

23 comments:

Brother Tobias said...

Elegaic, Cloudia. Whisky and peat fires would have a hard time to compete with this! And beautiful photos. (You live on a boat?)

Akelamalu said...

I feel as though I'm 'there' reading your description m'dear. :)

Cloudia said...

Aloha Brother Tobias, and dear Akelamalu!
Hawaii has always been close to Great Britain. Queen Liliuokalani attended Victoria's Jubilee, where she & Princess Kapiolani recieved royal gifts of bracelets featuring their names in olde English script- thus biving birth to "Royal Hawaiian Jewlery. Our state flag even encorporates your Union Jack. Perhps it is simply the natural communion of isle people, but I'm always cheered & uplifted to read comments from the sceptered Isles of poets!
Mahalo for being such jolly pals! Warmly, Cloudia

gigihawaii said...

haha. Next weekend will mark our 2nd stay in Waikiki this year alone. We stayed at the Royal Hawaiian in March, and now we will stay at the Hawaiian Village.

We will loll at the beach/pool and then take in the James Bond movie at the Dole Theater.

This will be followed by dinner with Cloudia at Bombay Restaurant.

Let the good times rock n roll.

The Grandpa said...

Those pictures are fantastic, Cloudia. And what a fascinating descriotion of a fantastic place.

Cloudia said...

Grandpa:
Mahalo, you wordsmith, you!

Gran said...

Your pictures, and words, are beyond beautiful. I love living in Seattle, but you are showing me paradise. Sigh.

Cloudia said...

Gran: Mahalo plenty!
You have made a lovely day even nicer.
Warm Aloha to YOU from Waikiki-

Mary said...

Thank you for the beautiful photos and descriptions of your glorious home.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

i suppose that's why lots of people love going to hawaii, for those magical skies and the aloha waikiki mornings...

Aileni said...

Scrumptious pictures. I'll have to come back to read.

claude said...

Hello Cloudia, Hello Honolulu !
Thanks for your visit. Sky of Kawaï is very beautiful !

Tide Turn said...

Beautiful sunset and lovely description - great to imagine it in grey english drizzle! Cheers.

Travis Erwin said...

Hope you don't mind but I linked to this post, since it too has a great vibe about your town. It's interesting to see a local's description of the tourists.

Bubblewench said...

IT must be amazing to wake to that every day. Lucky lady! And Lucky kitties!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have to say, your name completely compliments your setting.

RiverPoet said...

I'd love to live life like Splash, trusting God to feed me each day, but I have those all too human fears and the need for security. Splash could teach us a lot.

Peace - D

Charles Gramlich said...

I love mornings, although I seldom deliberately get up to see them unless I'm going to work. But I do appreciate them when I'm up.

christopher said...

Cloudia, Thanks for visiting my blog, a new chapter in my life. I have noticed your comments at Box Elder. Thanks for calling me a "holy fool", a name I don't mind at all. Makes me think of the Tarot.

I have not been on Oahu much, just passing, but I spent two vacations on Maui some years ago. I have not been bit hard enough by the island bug to go back, but must say I loved it, found the people really friendly.

Barbara Martin said...

Very nice description of Waikiki, making me feel as if I had been there yesterday as part of your memories.

Barrie said...

I so need a Hawaiian vacation! Beautiful description!

Cloudia said...

Oh thank you for walking along with me,
Charles
Barbara Martin
Claude
Tide Turn
Bubble Wench
Pattinase
RiverPoet
Christopher &
Barrie! Aloha Mai, Come again, anytime ;-)

lyzzydee said...

Fantastic photos beautiful skies!!!