In the two and a half-ish months I've been in Hawai'i, I've had a lot of time to do some thinking. After my grandfather passed away, I realized how far away from home I have been for the past 3 years. Too far. Sure, everything is just an airplane ride away now, but I'm tired of being away from my family. My family is my crew. They have been with me through thick and thin. They support my every move, challenge me when I need to be challenged, and rejoice in my adventures. As my grandmothers age and my nieces grow up, I want to be around for weekend visits and lunch dates. It's time to be home for a while.
In the same breath, I think I've found something I really like. Farming. It's such a refreshing and rewarding occupation. Doing advocacy and human rights work was rewarding, but in a completely different way. Learning how to organic farm hasn't worn out my emotions or my mental state, but instead my hands ache with pre-arthritis in the mornings and my knees have this weird new pain when I step up. And at the end of the day we weigh the coffee that we picked or count the bins of macadamia nuts that we sorted and know the work we have done. It's tangible, it's countable, it's visible. It's a fairly simple life, as we respect the land, farm it, and only take what we need.
So, I'm going to move back to North Carolina. For how long? I don't know. I hope to find a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains where I can work. And maybe I'll be able to nestle into a community there as well.
That's the plan anyway. We'll see what happens. I still have a month left here in Hawai'i, which includes a week of pure travel around the island. Things still on my list to do:
- Get a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage (that's happening tomorrow!)
- Go to the green sands beach!
- Go to the top of Mauna Kea (which is taller than Mt. Everest, except part of it is under the water)
- Go to Pololu Valley - supposedly compared to the likes of the Garden of Eden
- Make it to Hilo (the other side of the island)