The notion of island time used to drive the organizer in me crazy: if you can’t show up on time for my meetings, don’t expect me to start over when you do arrive. Here, coming and going on your own time is pervasive, and it’s not just individuals. Stores and even organizations and events are sometimes on island time. I remember standing in line for an Anti-GMO event. I was fussing; Dianne laughed and said to relax. They opened the doors 30 minutes after the publicized time. And the world didn’t end.
Just like Aloha, the idea grew on me. In fact, I began to understand that they are related. Aloha means focusing on the other person, being kind and generous. That includes being generous with your time. So if Dianne needs to talk, I don’t rush home after yoga. I sit and talk with her; I listen with the intent of making her feel heard.
It’s also about getting to what’s real, instead of living inside your head. The connection among those three elements, aloha, island time, and getting outside of my head, was a gentle “ahha.”
At the moment, I’ve got a big editing project, so I’d been inside my head all weekend with work. I looked forward to yoga on Monday morning as the perfect way to get out of my head. The physical exercise gets me warmed up, and then Shavasana relaxes me. And doing the eye exercises that Anita recommends, relieves my eye strain from staring at the computer since daybreak.
I felt I should get back to work after class, but Anita brought out organic coffee from her neighbor’s little farm, some grapefruit slices, starfruit slices and beans. The grapefruit is the best I’ve had in a long time. We take time to chat, and I find myself still relaxed walking home – 40 minutes later. That’s island time.
On the way, I meet the owner of one of our town’s nice shops, the Honoka’a Marketplace. I had met her over a year ago, but mostly see Elsie in the shop when I’m walking past. We reintroduce ourselves to each other, and chat a bit – “You bought Ada’s house, right?…How long have you been here now?…Have your daughters adjusted to living in Hawai’i?” And me – “I really like the flowers you had painted on your building. It gives the street a whole new look.” “Thank you. The tattoo artist across the street did the work.” Then she adds me to her customer list for the Appreciation Night she holds every year. That’s Aloha.
One block closer to home, I see Karen and her husband. “When are you coming to hula?” She’s been encouraging me to try this and I’m really quite interested. She reminds me that the class is 5 to 6:30 on Monday nights, right at the studio where I go to yoga. Since Jade is now driving herself and Faye to school, picking them up no longer interferes with the class, though I’d have to do something about supper. I tell her I’ll think about it. I dawdle a bit longer while we chat, then resume my walk home.
When I finally get there, I find BG has drunk all the coffee. Holy Cow…oh well. We usually make only one pot a day, but… I make another one. Finally settling down to work, I am fully refreshed, fully engaged, and ready to focus. I’ve gotten out of my head, into island time, and all with Aloha.
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