Category Archives: Life on Earth

Solstice, New Beginnings and Holiday Wishes

Keauhou sunsetGratitude and a Look Back

Well, as of the evening of December 22 (I think) I’ve been living on Hawaii Island for one full year. All in all it has been a wonderful experience and I very much look forward to as many more as the island gives me. Tomorrow evening I’m getting together with friends to celebrate the fact that I made it through the first year mostly unscathed. The initiation was far less of an ordeal than many go through. Still, there have been a number of things that the island has put right up in my face. It has a tendency to do that. Even with those things though, I wake up each morning, make coffee and go outside onto the deck to give thanks for this incredible opportunityEach evening I do the same thing – typically with a glass of wine – and give thanks for the wonderful day. Doesn’t matter how the day went or what the weather or whatever, I’m always grateful.

Winter Solstice, Eclipse and those Wonderful Maya

I don’t know if any of you (perhaps the 2 readers I have left after my looooong absense) followed the eclipse that happened on the winter solstice this year, but in many ways it was quite remarkable and there are those that believe that errors in interpreting the Mayan calendar might mean that 2010 was the 2012 that has been so talked about. Astrologically, looking out at winter solstice in 2012 was virtually a yawner. 2010 though had a lot of significance astrologically. I won’t even bother to try and explain any of it since I know little of astrology, but there are numerous articles on the web.

Warmest Holiday Wishes

To the last two readers I have (probably including myself) I wish you all the Happiest of Holidays filled with love and blessings and may you all have a wonderful new year.

BTW, the photo is a sunset I took while down at the Keauhou Beach Resort one evening having dinner with friends.

A Mauna Kea weekend

Mauna Kea from Ocean

Photograph by Vadim Kurland

I’ve been getting patient, but persistent messages that I need to go up and spend some time at Mauna Kea. Something to the effect, “you need to come up and see me.” To the Hawaiian’s, all the peaks on Hawai’i island are sacred, but Mauna Kea is the most sacred. I feel quite honored that she want me to come up and see her.

I got an email from a friend who will be here on the island and invited me to go… guess where? Mauna Kea. The spirits are very resourceful. My friend needed someone to accompany her, and the mountain wanted to see me. So, this weekend, we will be spending time up there with the giant. I’ll take my pocket digital camera and take some shots while there and post again soon about the trip.

I’ve been putting a trip up there off trying to get some web designs out the door, and I also need to make a trip back to Wyoming to finish “editing” that chapter of my life within the next month. I guess Mauna Kea has different plans, and I just got the memo.

Where did you go my friend?

The internet can be an amazing thing. Almost everytime you turn on your computer, there it is, waiting for you to head out on an adventure of digital discovery. You can meet interesting people and strike up friendships – well you typically don’t meet them IRL (In Real Life), but they can be friendships just the same. You share things you might not share with IRL friends, you discuss things that you might not discuss with IRL friends – or do. You follow and comment on their blog (if they have one), and they follow and comment on yours (if you have one).

In some cases, you learn quite a lot about the person, and in some instances, they don’t share a lot of details such as where they live, what they do for a living, their background, family, etc. You might not share a lot of details either, and that’s alright. We all need our boundaries – that safe area around us that we don’t let just everyone cross. I think boundaries are more respected on the internet in a way. Most don’t pry or pressure. There is sort of an acceptance of the relationship the way it is. At least that is the case for me.

I’m very grateful for my internet friends, and to all of them I now say thank you for your friendship (internet though it is); your sharing, your listening, your comments on my blog.

What makes it hard though is when one of them just disappears seemingly without a trace. You email, you leave comments on their blog; no reply, just the echo of your fingers on the keyboard. This happened this year. An internet friend sent me an email late last year, I replied and didn’t hear back. When I went to their blog, there was a post there (end of the year), so I assumed they were just busy with their move (they relocated too). The post mentioned a slight break, but that they would be back. Then after a couple months you begin to wonder, but life gets in the way, so you forget to email them and when you remember, you get no reply. You visit their blog from time to time, when you think of it, but there, staring at you, is that same old post. Other internet friends – many whom you know – leave comments, and then you all start wondering where they are, and asking, almost pleading with them, to get in touch, or just to put up a short post letting their internet friends know they are OK – or not. No response.

A few of us get together over email and decide to start doing a search to see if we can determine what has happened. We all share what we know.  One long-time IRL friend (thankfully) has their real name (where the rest of us had only their internet nickname), so we start searching. We find things that fit the picture that all of us have been able to piece together from the various bits we each could offer, but still no luck. When the open internet fails, we resort to paying for some of the people search sites in hopes we can find our friend. We keep broadening our searches to include even the most remote clues, but still no luck. But then you reach that point where even the completely irrelevant clues have been searched for from 10,000 different directions. Finally, apparently, sadly, the great internet has failed. You have come to a dead end.

We of course still hold out hope. Maybe, somehow, someway, we will figure out exactly what terms to put in that search box to bring news of our friend, or possibly that one of us will say something in an email that will give us a new direction to search, or possibly, miraculously, a new post will appear on the blog explaining the absence and we will jump for joy.

Or not.

I would be fooling myself if I didn’t consider the possibility that our internet friend has moved on; made her transition to the other side of the veil. Still, it would be nice to know if she has or not. I’ve journeyed on it before to get only the silent treatment from upstairs, which typically means I’m not supposed to know, for whatever reason (sometimes you are simply not supposed to know). You just have to accept these things sometimes.

Where did you go my friend?

Where are you now?

Life in the tropics

Kona coffee cherries ripeningI had planned on getting a “meatier” post up this week, but I’ve been busy with other stuff. I hope to have something more substantive up in a few days.

How many of you have ever seen coffee “on the hoof?” This image is from right outside the house I’m living in on a sustainable, organic coffee farm. The owners are quite happy since the trees are heavy with coffee cherries this year. At the elevation, and in the area I’m living, June and July are the wet months, and although the first few months I was living here were very, very dry, June and July have turned out quite wet—at least wet as far as this ex-Wyoming boy is concerned. We’ve been getting at least an inch or two of rain each week, and this last couple weeks has seen an inch or more each day. I’ve got yard work to do (weeding and such) but haven’t been able to get out to do it. I might just have to put on my board shorts, a tee shirt and flip-flops and do it in the rain.

Looking out my front doorThe first couple months here, the front area of the house was virtually just bare ground except for a few tropical plants that were somehow managing to survive the drought. Where as before I could look up the hill in front of the house and see the car parked up there, now all I can see is lush tropical plants (and of course the inevitable weeds). Weeds are good though. This island is a rock and dirt and topsoil are scarce actually on most of the island, so you have to create your own soil, and those weeds, which can grow 4 or 6 inches in just a couple days, become soil once composted. The soils here are quite loose, so pulling most weeds is very easy. There is probably a couple days work to be done in trimming stuff and pulling weeds, but the weather report for the next several days or so calls for at least 30% chance of rain, and here in this area and at this elevation, 30% is more like 100% this time of year.

I still have to pinch myself every so often to make sure that living here isn’t a dream. I’m thankful for every day, and each morning and evening, I express my gratitude to the spirits of this incredibe island.

New photo galleries section added

walking on fireI broke down and added a photo galleries section (see top navigation tabs), and will start going though my photos and getting the best of the best into the gallery pages. I’ve still got a lot of 4×5 film transparencies from trips to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons that I have not yet scanned, but I have a lot that I’ve taken with my digital SLR from other trips, although most of them are still in “raw” file format so they have to be processed.

So, check back over the coming weeks to see what’s new in the Galleries.