Maui Musings

The Wahine Writes

North Shore Rainbow of Welcome

Written By: Jueli - Jun• 30•11

We’re a week into living on the North Shore of Maui. The small surf town we call home is just on the edge of lush fauna and hosts the last gas station for many miles. People from all over the world drive through Paia Town’s crossroads. They stop to buy souvenirs, brown bag lunches, freshly caught fish and shaved ice (one of the best on Island), before they venture another 43 miles across 54 one-way bridges between us and the waterfall laden rainforest side of the island.

We know only a handful of people, and most of those are closer with our children then they are with us. Camp counselors, summer program teachers, babysitters, restaurant owners. We never have any one over for dinner, preferring to eat as a family under sparkly white-holiday lights that spiral up an outdoor gazebo on the property. Unfortunately, it doesn’t protect us from the rain, which happens many times a day on this side of Maui.  So, we get wet. Or we eat inside.

My man and I sit side by side during the day, each lost in our respective professional passions. We break for lunch together outside. And we break in the afternoon to jump into the white water bay a couple minutes from the house just before I drive up the lower side of Haleakala for afternoon pick up. We feel like we’re dating again, except we have longevity, perseverance, familiarity, and two children between us. It’s sweet and romantic.

Yesterday we were floating in the ocean naming into the waves adjectives that described our relationship: respect, adoration, fun, laughter, humor, passion, shared interests. Solar flashes of electricity awakened my heart, gratitude dripping from my skin as I swam through the Pacific.

The children are immersed weekdays in their own island experiences:

Twice a week my girl rides a long yellow school bus to local pools and South Shore beaches. On Tuesday mornings, she scoots closer to Uncle Max who quietly passes on to the children the ancient Hawaiian folk tales his tutu told him. She learns hula, decorates her wrists with blades of grass, plays relay games, and zealously observes the bustling schoolyard filled with local children.

My nearly four-year-old boy is in familiar surroundings at a summer preschool. This is his second summer with this program, though his first without the comfort of his older sister accompanying him. His teachers can sense that he’s got a wild streak beneath his sweet, demure personality, but he hasn’t yet come out to the crowd. He talks rapidly at pick up about pirates and water play, proudly showing off the smiley super star stamped on his hand for a successful nap (something he hasn’t regularly done at home for nearly six months). Only surprises in the car and an afternoon plan of adventure persuade him to willingly leave the play yard. He waves and yells, “Goodbye, friends” at the top of his lungs. At the last minute, he runs back and throws his arms around the legs of that day’s favorite staff member.

It’s a good life.

Friday through Sunday are Family Days.

More on that later.




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