Home Sweet Home

Home is where the heart is. Cliche I know but it has never meant as much to me as it does now. It's be about six weeks since I came home from Japan. This time it isn't just a visit of a couple weeks but this time I'll stay put for some time. Which for me is likely to be a few months.

Hawaii, and specifically Maui, is full of beauty. Whether it's in the sky, in the sea or in between. The rain forests, open green fields, deep valleys or steep cliffs, volcanic craters, white sandy beaches, plentiful rainbows and so on. It is endless. And every moment and day brings instances of priceless beauty. After a couple years in the bustling, lively and metropolitan cities of Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo, the calm and natural beauty of Maui eases the depths of my heart and soul.

Every morning that it's sunny (which is almost everyday) I wake up to a breathtaking view of the island from my home and bask in the Hawaiian sun. The birds are really the only noise that I hear and it is these moments of near silence that I savor. I feel so grateful to have been born and raised on this island. In my teenage years I felt that Maui was small and there wasn't much more, beyond the 15+ years that I had spent, to be excited about. These sorts of thoughts were likely influenced by my annual visits to Japan in the summer where there was so much more stimulation and energy. But now that I'm a little older, I see that nothing can compare to being raised here. Maui, in its own way has an energy that comes from its people and its vast nature.

Yes, I still see aspects of what I didn't care for when I was younger, but now I see those things as less important as those aspects which are positive and continuously draw people from all around the world to visit or live here. There is the same internationalism that exists in many metropolitan cities just at a scale comparable to an island population. It isn't always so visible but if you search for it, you will undoubtedly find it all around. Hawaii is certainly multicultural, just look at its geography but it isn't just those cultural groups that came in the 18th and 19th century that exist today. Today there are people from the North America, South America, Europe and Asia. More specifically I know and recognize many South African, Italian, French, Swiss, Germans, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indian, Thai, Caribbean, Argentine, Brazilian, Mexican, Irish people. Quite the contrast from the ethnic groups say a 100 years ago: Hawaiian, Portuguese, English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Filipino.

All of these things and more allows me to love, admire and respect this 'aina' or land and its people. I'm so proud to call Maui home.