I know that is a funny title for a blog post about returning to the Big Island, but it stuck after realizing that we have left and returned to the island three times and this time, I certainly DID dance a jig when I got home! We are done. This is home!
(If you are not familiar with the title, it is from a Mother Goose rhyme my mom used to read..”)
To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, dancing a jig;
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog;
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.
We left last July for a variety of reasons including getting an education for my daughter who was starting high school, missing the trees, seasons and cooler weather of California, wanting to see my Bay Area friends and family more often, traveling for business and pleasure more often on the mainland, eating fresh stone fruit… You know, all the things that people have to consider leaving behind when they make the move to the islands.
What did I learn?
I can not say it was a failed experiment, as I did everything I said I wanted to do while I was off island. I also skied over 35 days in the Sierra (but also shoveled over 25 feet of snow at lake level), I got to wear fuzzy boots and sweaters, although I was completely over that by May and it was still snowing the first week in June. I saw thundering waterfalls all over the Lake Tahoe Basin and the Sierra, with amazing displays of wildflowers from so much snow and rain California received last year. I took my daughter to New York City and Yosemite, my son to Sequoia National Park and the family to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon. We crushed it on getting out and enjoying adventures.
But what I don’t think I realized I took for granted while living in Kona, was my friend circle and the spirit of Aloha. You may have read a few of my posts while I was living in Tahoe about Pele and all that the Big Island has to offer which was written in a way you could sense the ache. I missed it all..especially when I could not leave my house for days due to the cold and weather. But most of all, really, I missed my community.
The people here are a strange and wonderful bunch. It takes a special person to move to an island, even if its not forever. Adventurous, a bit crazy, driven, passionate, and with usually a large amount of faith built in. Taking the leap over the ocean is a feat and surviving here can be an epic experience filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows emotionally, financially and spiritually. So, my friends who have gone through the trial by Pele fire are a breed of humans that are pretty special and I missed their fierce energy. If you are new to the island, you know that you find yourself tested. It’s just how it goes here.
I have to tell you, when I was at my wits end with the cold and dark and seriously suffering from a bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder, I asked Pele to get me home. She said, “Your heart was not on the Big Island. You asked to leave and I encouraged you to go. You still have things to learn there, so no. Stay.” I asked my spiritual friends on the island what they thought and they said the same thing. I dug deeper into why I left and how would I feel different if I got back?
It took me a few more months of freezing, with nothing to warm my skin or my soul, to really deeply ask to come home. I swore I would not whine about the humidity, or the cost of food, or the education system or not traveling as much. She must have laughed at some of the things that I swore I would do if I could just come home. And finally, I put my faith in spirit and let it go.
Then we got the call that a manager position had opened up in Waikoloa Village and they needed us to move within 21 days for my husband to start. Boom, like that, we were packing up and changing the children’s school documents, and shipping our cars, and putting stuff in storage and telling our friends we were moving back to Hawaii! Friends in the Bay Area who thought they had more time to see us, realized we were leaving again and some came up for a few last hikes in the Sierra.
We landed two weeks ago and I made it point to go down to the ocean and thank Pele, spirit, God for getting me back home. Many of my friends on Facebook who have been following this journey read my trials and tribulations in the snow storms and heard my lamentations about missing Hawaii. (One even sent me orchids from Hawaii in February, which made me cry as I photographed them in the snow.) They cheered and welcomed me home. I showed them the power of faith and determination. This whole experience was a transformative one.
Now, we are up in Waikoloa Village having a whole new town to discover, but my heart will always be in Kona and I hope to get back down there to live when we buy a home. I re-joined my gym in Kona, The Club, to make it a point to get back down there, have lunch and sunset drinks with my friends and still share with all of you the beauty of our town.
Up here, in the open spaces of Waikoloa, standing out on the open land looking at the ocean, I think I can hear Pele as she whips her winds through the valley of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa say, “E Komo Mai” and I know, that I will be so much more grateful for everything here.
Home again, home again, jiggety jog.