Seasons change very subtly in Hawai‘i. But after 5 years of living here, I can see the shifts. Fall is a mix of cool rainy days, often too many in a row, and warm sunny days often with low humidity. I relish those sunny days as the best of all the seasons. As I walk to yoga practice with Anita, I notice how far the sun has shifted, rising straight along Mamane Street. My long early-morning shadow reaches before me, and the sun warms my back as I walk.
On those overcast and rainy days, I start wearing capris, even pants, and a sweater over my shirt to yoga. No more shorts and sleeveless tops. I may even keep the sweater on for the whole class!
At 6 pm on Sunday when Mindfulness Meditation ends, it’s now after sunset and I have to walk home in the dark. Luckily, Honoka‘a is anything but scary. (For more, see A Safe Cocoon.) With only two restaurants open at night, the streets are mostly empty. The globes from the Honokaa People’s Theatre welcome theater-goers to the Sunday night showing, and I enjoy seeing their soft white light, beacons in the deserted street.
My starfruit tree bears hundreds of starfruits, yellow- green to golden in the sun. Last year, Thomas and Kim lassoed the tall branches that were impossible to reach and bent them slowly, so that now almost all of the fruit are within reach. The last few I’ll be able to pick with a ladder. I took 75 to the Hāmākua Harvest Farmer’s Market on Sunday morning, and will bring another 75 this weekend. The good news is that if they don’t sell, they get taken to the food pantry. My little orange tree is also laden, but I save these for family and friends.
Macadamia nuts litter Stacy’s front lawn and I get to harvest them for my own special roasting of mac nuts. The picking-up is just the first step in a long process of drying the nuts on my back lanai, removing the husks, drying the nuts again on the outdoor rack, cracking the shell off, drying the nuts again in the oven, and finally roasting. It will take a couple months before we taste them. At the moment, I have 100 pounds of nuts drying out back.
The Packers play football and some Sunday mornings or early afternoons I am lucky enough to watch them. Not all Packer games are televised here. The better their season, the more games I get to see, sitting on the couch with my coffee. Even for a Cheesehead, It’s just too early in the day to drink beer.
On the downside, the crab spiders (they look just like little crabs) come out and spin webs everywhere. I have to wave a broom or dropped palm frond in front of me as I walk through my yard. They’re prolific little hard shelled arachnids.
The ocean is also cooler and the waves can be bigger – often 10 to 14 feet! When that happens, prudence demands that we abandon our ocean bobbing. That’s okay; soon winter will be here, and instead of swimming, we can watch the humpback whales.
All in all, I appreciate the blessings of autumn, and am grateful for the eyes to see them. Being present and living in the moment can do that for a person. Aloha.
For more on macadamia nuts, see:
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