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.
Thanks Deborah!! So great to see you the other day!
Wonderful post! We are living in Atlanta and visit the Big Island at least twice a year. Our hearts are in Hawaii but unfortunately it is difficult for my husband to get the kind of physician job there like he does here in Atlanta. He may be able to find a job in Honolulu but that’s not where we want to be! We consider Kona our second home….I love the idea of praying to Pele. Maybe our dream will come true one of these days💗
A huge welcome home Julie 🌺 We call Kona home only one month a year. Our plan had always been to make the move upon my retirement from teaching. We even did a survey in considering opening a private school in Kona. The response was overwhelmingly positive for our school but my husband has medical needs which require medical specialist which are simply not available on the BI.
Our annual trip to Kona is to the Billfisher each Oct/Nov. We look forward with great anticipation to our time there.
Happy you are back and I look forward to your early morning “coffee” videos of your favorite coffee spots on the ocean. Aloha, Judy
Thanks for reaching out. You just never know when the right specialist is also called to the island. So glad you enjoy your time here, I have been running up on the Waikoloa Highlands and then coming to Java on the Rock for coffee. Not bad…DO miss the ocean mist with my java..;-)
Julie & Family,
Good to hear you have made it back after the Sierra winter that would not stop. Stop by the old place for a visit in Dec.
Aloha Jack! That would be fun to get down there to see you and the “old homestead”!!
My husband and I (DINKs) have been discussing moving to Kona for years; but, now that I’ve landed a job in SF and dealing with a nightmare commute each and every day from Foster City – we’ve had enough. We both make good salaries; but, are willing to give those up to have peace of mind. We are making arrangements with our realtor and have set March 17, 2018 as the day our home will be listed. We’re excited, anxious, nervous about this impending move without jobs especially since we know there is much to do. We’ve only told a few close friends (not even family) and most are trying to talk us out of it. Anyway I just wanted to say good for you for coming back home and letting us know that we are not the only ones feeling this way and that there is hope.
Monica-life is too short to be crammed into the Bay Area with 10 million grumbling commuters. I would worry about what is going to happen during a natural disaster. Good for you in taking advantage of the Spring market and getting out here. If you are thinking of buying here, let me know..got a great Realtor (and my hubby will have his license by then!) Join our group when you get here…sunset bbq’s beat out Bay Area traffic every day!
Amen to that Julie. I can’t wait to be amongst others who live and practice Aloha. We’re planning on buying and we have an agent right now whom we are working with; but if circumstances change, I’ll reach out to you and your husband.
I keep reading your book and will use it as my bible especially in the next 5 months which I know will fly by.
Yes, living with others who practice is Aloha is HUGE!!! Yes, keep us in mind. Yes, it will fly by..and save some extra money (and time) to get stuff set up on this side, too..it;s amazing how getting your car safety done..then going to DMV to get it registered..and then going back to car safety to get the sticker..and getting your health insurance, phone carrier, banking…it’s all just part of life, but man…;)
Yes, living with others who practice is Aloha is HUGE!!! Yes, keep us in mind.
Yes, time will fly by..and save some extra money (and time) to get stuff set up on this side, too..it;s amazing how getting your car safety done..then going to DMV to get it registered..and then going back to car safety to get the sticker..and getting your health insurance, phone carrier, banking…it’s all just part of life, but man…;) Don’t plan on doing much besides setting up life your first week or so!